The emotional roller-coaster

Picture – @cmfc_official

Rayong FC 3 Chiang Mai FC 2

Thai M150 Championship
Saturday 30 April 2022
Rayong Province Stadium

Starting XI Kiadtiphon

What a wonderful roller-coaster football can be. All of life wrapped up in 90 minutes, and like life, with a decent chunk of injury time for redemption.

The despondency: drive for 12 hours and see your team concede a ludicrously soft goal within 2 minutes.

Tanpisit’s long pass from his own half was perfectly aimed into the space opening up for Jakkit’s diagonal run from the right side. Veljko and Meedech were pushing forward. Sumeth for some reason was going the other way until he realized that was a bad idea. By then Jakkit, clearly onside, had a ten yard start on any defender; he calmly bore down on goal and slid the ball past Kiadtiphon.

The optimism; Chiang Mai almost immediately responded and it took a fine save by Noppakun to keep out Suchanon’s shot as he ran onto a pass from Pongrawit.

The relief: Jakkit wins a header at the back post directing the ball at Pitbull (yes that really is what it says on his shirt). Pitbull cocks a leg (he did, honestly) to redirect the ball to Kenzo Nambu at the back post. Nambu’s first attempt rebounds from the woodwork and his follow up was well saved by Kiadtiphon.

 A Pitbull spin and shot went narrowly wide. advises that Pitbull is paid Baht 150,000 a week. Which makes his one goal from 17 games played one of the most expensive goals scored by a foreign player in Thailand.

The dismay; Jakkit has drifted wide right. Sumeth has not got close enough to him to stop his cross into the area. But he is close enough that the ball hits Sumeth and both deflects and spins inside the near post with Kiadtiphon stranded. Jakkit may claim the goal but it was an own goal.

The debate: Sumeth is not a left back. Sarawin on the other side is not a right back. Chiang Mai looked exposed down both wings. Sumeth was substituted after 36 minutes, by Chaiyapruek, and the defense looked a little more organized.

The predictability: There was still time for Pitbull to move forward from half-way finishing with a powerful shot narrowly clearing the crossbar.

The anxiety: Chiang Mai came close to conceding another goal as the second half commenced. Kiadtiphon, possibly distracted by Poomphat, was unable to gather Kirati’s low cross from the left. Kenzo Nambu was first to the loose ball but shot against the crossbar.

The hope: Surasak is in the Rayong penalty area and heading away from goal. Even so Wasusiwaki still clips his ankles to bring him down. Penalty. Calmly stroked to the goalkeeper’s left by Pongrawit. 2-1 to the home side.

The elation: Five minutes later Tawan spreads the ball wide left for Gustavsson, on as substitute for Phommin. Gustavsson, at pace, reaches the left side of the penalty area and unselfishly pulls the ball square for the onrushing Suchanon to score at the far post. It was a high quality, fluid move. We have not seen enough of that this season. 2-2.

The heartbreak: With ten minutes to go Kittikai plays a give and go on the right side and cuts into the penalty area between Poomphat and Pongrawit to calmly finish a well-worked move past the Chiang Mai goalkeeper.

And that, bar a little pushing and shoving was it. A 3-2 win for the home side who had been outplayed for much of the second half.

Chiang Mai could spend the 12+ hours of their drive home wondering just how that did not get at least a point from that game.

But this was the last game of a long and difficult season and the result does not impact any of the relegation or promotion issues. Thoughts, instead, turn to vacations and to new contracts for next season.

See you again in August 2022.

In other T2 news; Lamphun won the League title; Sukhothai join them as the automatically promoted sides.

Rajpracha, Khon Kaen and Navy are relegated.

The play-off semi finals with be between Trat and Phrae and between Lampang and Chainat.