Thai League 2 Match Report
Saturday 17 September 2022
Phrae United 1 Chiang Mai FC 2
Chiang Mai FC:
Bo Yong Kim
This was a terrific game of football to watch and a fine advertisement for Thai League 2.
Of course, an away win helps; but both teams gave everything in front of 1.020 fans, Phrae’s biggest home crowd of the season in large part thanks to around 200 loud and happy traveling fans.
Coach Fukuda made three changes; Sarawut, back from suspension, replaced Suwit. Rhyan Stewart, back from injury, replaced Piyachanok, and as predicted Bo Yong Kim made his first start for CMFC; with Stenio moving to left wing and Pongrawit starting on the right side.
This was a different world from the woeful 0-3 defeat at Phrae back in March 2022, in the middle of Covid and in front of a handful of traveling fans.
The feisty start reflected the referee’s intention to let the game flow as much as possible; and also ended any doubts about Rhyan Stewart’s fitness as he went toe to toe with Maranhao. Thai referees do not get much credit. The referee, Wathanyu Morin, did well tonight.
The first real threat of the game came, predictably from Taku Ito, cutting inside from the left and curling his shot wide of the far post.
Veljko’s strong interception then released Stewart galloping, like a young gazelle, down the right wing. His left footed cross to the far post was met by the stretching Stenio who headed narrowly over.
The opening goal came from Chiang Mai, again down the right side. Full back Kandanai tried, and failed, to cut out Saharat’s pass from midfield for Bo Yong Kim, now in space on the right; he advanced into the penalty area, strongly held off two defenders and slid a low pass to Stenio; the Brazilian cleverly let the ball run across his body to finish low with his left foot past the veteran Nantapol.
Three Chiang Mai bookings in 5 minutes reflected Phrae’s pressure for an equalizer. Veljko, Sarawut and Suwannaphat were all booked in quick succession.
Then Decha, 12 yards out and in front of goal, scuffed his left foot shot allowing Fahas an easy save; Fahas did better to ensure Arsan’s header went wide of the far post.
But, as the two minutes of injury time mysteriously turned into at least three, Phrae equalized. Chiang Mai could only clear a corner as far as Kandanai; Teerayut, perhaps the smallest forward on the pitch, stepped in front of Veljko to head home his cross from six yards inside Fahas’ right post.
1-1 at half time; and that was probably a fair reflection of a well contested 45 (plus!) minutes.
The second half quickly continued with chances at both ends; a rebound off Stenio going narrowly wide for Chiang Mai and Fahas making a good catch from Marlon Silva’s well struck volley.
A long ball out of defense from Veljko found Pongrawit wide right; his hard low cross narrowly evading the lively Stenio at the far post.
Stenio was not to be denied; right place and right time. Bo Yong Kim got to the goal line in the penalty area; his cross lobbed up, possibly off a Marlon Silva. Goalkeeper Nantapol was left clutching at thin air and behind him Stenio stooped to nod home his second of the night.
In reply Fahas dived to his left to push away substitute Elivelton’s header. The same forward then volleyed over from a narrow angle.
Stenio came close to a hattrick when his low shot from eighteen yards was pushed wide by Nantapol.
Some late substitutions brought fresh legs and a five-man back line to ensure that Chiang Mai played out the remaining time without any unwelcome scares.
There was much to like about this performance; strong from back to front. Bo Yong Kim and Stenio look like a partnership that should get stronger; Fahas was assured in goal; the back line was strong and Saharat Phosri, who rarely gets a mention, covered every blade of grass. Stenio led once again by example and finished in style.
Thai Leagues One and Two take a break next week while the Kings Cup takes place. CMFC’s next game is at home to Krabi on 1 October.
Thai League 2 Match Report