Sunday 4 August 2022
Nakhon Si United 1 Chiang Mai FC 0
Chiang Mai FC:
Football is a funny old game. Last week Chiang Mai FC looked fluid and stylish in a 3-1 win at Uthai Thani. This week, at Nakhon Si United, CMFC never settled and lost to a 76th minute goal from one of few chances created by either side.
With Veljko Filipovic recovering from sickness coach Fukuda gave a debut to the tall Bangkok Glass loan player, Piyachanok, at centre half. CMFC were otherwise unchanged from last week.
Meanwhile Wanderley, last year’s league 2 winning Lamphun Warriors coach, has taken over at Nakhon Si United; a more direct approach was inevitable with wingers on either side of Evandro Paulista. It worked at Lamphun; it can work again.
With a group of players looking to impress their new master this was never going to be an easy game for the visitors.
NakhonSi were the first to threaten, Abdussalam running behind Sarawut; his first touch was heavy and Kiadtiphon decided to clear feet first; it made for a clumsy and painful challenge for the goalkeeper.
Suchanon’s 30 yard drive was deflected for one of seven first half CMFC corners; with 37 minutes gone Stenio comfortably outjumped Praweenat, but his powerful header hit the top of the crossbar. This was to be Chiang Mai’s only on target goal attempt in the game.
At the other end Phillerson, playing wide left, dragged a shot wide; before combining with Paulista for a shot that was too close to Kiadtiphon.
A Suchanon pass released Tawan on the edge of the Nakhon SI penalty area but Tawan’s shot was wide of the far post.
Stalemate at half time and not a great deal for a good crowd of 2,088 to get excited about.
Into the second half and Tawan neatly netted for Chiang Mai running onto a Pongrawit pass. But Tawan went too soon and was a yard offside. The celebrations were short-lived.
The momentum was increasingly with the home side. Phillerson drove a low cross into the six yard box where Suwannaphat under pressure was able to clear the ball over the cross bar.
Suwannaphat then excelled in a one on one sprint with Paulista into the Chiang Mai area.
Another NakhonSi corner; inswinging under the crossbar was turned over by the stretching Kiadtiphon. Changing sides the follow-up corner was hit towards the six yard box. Kiadtiphon came for the ball but was not even close. Praweenat, at the far post, simply stood his ground to hold off Pongrawit and nodded the ball into the net for the game’s only goal.
In a late flurry Kiatidsak, on for Tawan, shot into the side netting and Piyachanok headed over the bar.
There was also time for Sarawut to pick up a second yellow card, and therefore a sending off, in injury time for kicking Paulista.
There were, as always, performances to admire; Stenio is a constant threat; Suwannaphat’s commitment in defense makes his the first name on a team sheet. But Filipovic was clearly missed and we seem unable to hold onto the ball in midfield and distribute it effectively. Attacks that should have seen us on the front foot too often ended up in retreat.
No matter; early days. Just assign this performance to the history bin and quickly move on.