Thai League 2 2022-2023 : Sunday 30 April 2023
Chiang Mai FC 3 Ranong United 2
Chiang Mai FC:
Ryhan Stewart (sub Sarawin, 74’)
Sarawut (sub Filipovic, 89’)
Ronnayod (sub Phommin, 89’)
Im ChangKyoon (sub Yuta Hirayama,89’)
Kim BoYong (sub Suchanon, 61’)
For the second week running this was the Im ChangKyoon show; two masterful goals, one assist and a sense of space and awareness that cannot be taught.
It also takes his tally to six goals in the last three games; while the opposition has been three of the league’s weaker teams there has been no such thing as an easy game this season; other perhaps than Uthai Thani’s 8-1 humiliation of Udon Thani this evening.
This was a highly entertaining match, with some terrific goals, end-to-end drama and moments of near comedy.
It was also a game where the crossbar was struck so often that the woodworm will all have headaches.
The only disappointment was that this was a game that had no impact on promotion, playoff and relegation and it was distracting to spend the game looking at scores from elsewhere, on an evening of high drama.
As early as the 8th minute a long ball forward from the Ranong penalty area fell kindly for Chamsuddeen (7), who was in behind Stewart and beyond the reach of Suwannapat. Taking the ball to the left of the six yard box he tried to slide the ball under the advancing Fahas; the ball defected off the keeper’s boot and onto the base of the far post.
Stewart cleared; Thammayut played the ball forward; Im ChangKyoon smartly retreated from offside allowing Kim BoYong to chase down the ball and cross left-footed into the area where Amornthep’s header also came off the base of the post – this time into the arms of a grateful goalkeeper.
Ranong’s opening goal in the 19th minute combined comedy and controversy. It should probably not have been allowed.
Athiwat beat Sarawut with ease on the right side; his shot beat Fahas but dropped down off the crossbar. Piyachanok swung to clear the ball as Chan (4) launched himself horizontally at the Chiang Mai captain. His feet were high; the challenge dangerous.
In the melee the ball fell for Chamsuddeen (7) who hooked a shot goalwards. Fahas appeared to have made a comfortable catch of the bouncing ball but as he fell it squirmed from his hands and was over the line before he could claw it back. Fahas’ look of misunderstood innocence was a joy. Suwannaphat was booked for his protest. The goal stood.
On the half hour Ranong hit the crossbar for the third time. A good move down the right side saw Athiwat combine with Saraphob (19) who slid the ball to the six yard line for Chan who struck his shot against the bar from six yards as he fell.
At the other end Amornthep, who had a lively game on the right side, pulled the ball back for Kim BoYong alone on the penalty spot. Kim slipped and the chance was gone.
Ronnayod’s long range drive was well held by Kampon (1) in goal.
Into first half injury time and a slip by Narongrit (5) left Kim BoYong with an unchallenged run on goal; his shot was scooped over the bar.
Thammayut then had a goal disallowed after a belated offside whistle against Piyachanok who had mysteriously turned up on the left wing. It was probably the correct call.
Half time and Ranong led 1-0.
The second half was to be dominated by Chiang Mai.
Kampon saved at close range from Kim BoYong before Ronnayod slapped an 18 yard shot – yes – against the underside of the abused crossbar.
Chiang Mai were not to be denied. The equalizer came as Im ChangKyoon, in predator mode, loitered just outside the Ranong penalty area. A left side Chiang Mai corner was not cleared. Sarawut laid the ball back for Im who had time to take a steadying touch before hitting a shot with dip and bend into Kampon’s bottom left corner.
Ranong were running out of steam.
Amornthep was pulled down in full flight on the right edge of the penalty area. Muhammadburhan (11) was booked; a red card and penalty would not have been a surprise. Thammayut’s left foot free kick was punched clear by Kampon.
Ranong came close to a second with a terrific counter attack; a long cross-field ball released Chanchon (2) on the right; his first time ball was perfect for the head of Chamsudeen rushing into the penalty area but his powerful header was directed straight at Fahas.
83 minutes gone and Chiang Mai’s second goal was one of measured simplicity. Sarawin held the ball up by the right corner flag. Im ChangKyoon was standing twelve yards from goal perhaps covered with an invisibility cloak as the three defenders around him simply stood and watched. Sarawin’s pass was measured, albeit bobbling, across to Im who with one swing of that cultured right foot dispatched it past Kampon.
A minute later Suchanon (on for Kim BoYong) took a touch to control Im’ s direct pass into the penalty area then swept the ball home with power. Welcome back.
Ranong had not given up; Athiwat headed against the crossbar and Sarin scored from a simple far post tap in set up by Saraphop and Athiwat.
Enough drama; other than a couple of casual moments Chiang Mai had controlled the second half and were deserving winners.
Ranong set off for the long drive home and to play next season in T3. They played with spirit today and we wish them well.