Missed opportunities

Thai League 2022-2023
Sunday 15 January 2023

Chiang Mai FC 1 Uthai Thani FC 1

Chiang Mai FC:

S. Posri
Kim BoYong

A highly competitive game ended in 1-1 tie that did nothing to help either team push into the play-off positions.

Filipovic, after a suspension and fever, returned to the Chiang Mai defense as did Rhyan Stewart, from international duty in Singapore; a country where they appear to have no barber shops!

On a weekend where eight of nine games finished as draws this was an opportunity for both sides to gain ground on the teams above them.

Uthai Thani had a good run of four successive wins before arriving in Chiang Mai. The additions of Brinner and Steeven Langil have strengthened their squad.

And through the first fifteen minutes of the game the visitors were in charge; dominating possession and passing the ball with confidence.

Their best early chance came after 15 minutes when Watcharakorn broke froward from his own half. Kittisak stole a yard on Thammayut and ran onto Watcharakorn’s pass.  Fahas was quickly off his line to block Kittisak’s first time shot near the penalty spot.

Minutes later Chiang Mai were ahead from the game’s first corner. Swung over by Pongrawit it was met with a strong header by Kim BoYong. Goalkeeper Boonyakait had gone walk about in his six yard box and was only able to help the ball over the line.

Both sides then tore into a pitched brawl in front of the main stand. Santos made a meal of a challenge with a swan-like dive; Stewart took exception to the dive; Brinner took exception to Stewart’s reaction; Filipovic took exception to Brinner’s intervention. By then everyone was involved including the excessively vocal Uthai Thani bench.

Amid all the finger pointing the referee issued four yellow cards to the above mentioned pugilists. It was sensible refereeing and kept all 22 players on the pitch.

While tempers were still high Netiphong was booked for a trip on Suchanon.

The good news for Chiang Mai is that Uthai Thani’s sense of grievance also saw a loss of concentration on the pitch allowing Chiang Mai a number of chances late in the first half.

Tawan released Suchanon, whose shot stung the hands of Boonyakait as he pushed the ball uncomfortably over the bar.

Filipovic then broke down an Uthai Thani attack on the edge of his penalty area; the ball was funneled quickly through Ronnayod to Kim BoYong who dragged his shot narrowly wide.

Two minutes later Tawan turned on the left corner of the penalty area and curled a fine twenty yard shot onto the crossbar.

Finally, for the half, a long Fahas clearance evaded Kim but fell for Pongrawit in the penalty area; he needed an extra touch to move the ball to his left foot allowing Jakkrapong to make a timely interception.

The referee left the field at half time to a volley of abuse from the Uthai Thani bench while harassed by a number of their players. It was not a good look.

Chiang Mai led 1-0 at half time but had failed to take advantage of a number of good chances and this was likely to prove costly.

So it proved. Steeven Langil came on as a half time substitute; with almost his first touch he curled a low cross towards the penalty spot where Santos had taken a step in front of Thammayut to control the cross with his right foot and to pass the ball past Fahas with his left.

Was Santos onside? Probably not, but it was a very close decision.

Thammayut would redeem himself minutes later when his goal line intervention met and cleared Brinner’s near post header from under the CMFC crossbar. 

Suwannapat cleared the resulting corner releasing Kim BoYong to race into the Uthai Thani penalty area where he was caught and tripped by Wattana. Penalty for CMFC.

The referee allowed Brinner, Santos and others to stand on the penalty spot for some minutes, and get in the ear of Kim BoYong.

Eventually when he was able to take the penalty Kim smashed it onto the crossbar.  It was unfortunate for Kim who worked really hard throughout the match.

There was still time for Boonyakait to intercept Kiadtisak’s early low cross.

At the other end Phattaraphon’ s cross failed to reach Santos in front of goal and Langil had plenty of time for a cross from the left towards a packed six yard box that evaded everyone

The second half fireworks never materialized. And while both teams continued to press a score draw seemed ever more inevitable.

Chiang Mai’s next home game is on Saturday 21st January against league leaders Nakhon Si United.