Christmas comes early

Picture – Official CMFC

Thai League 2 2022-2023

Sunday 4 December 2022

Udon Thani FC 0 Chiang Mai FC 3

Chiang Mai FC:
Kim BoYong

Christmas came early tonight in Udon Thani with the gift of Chiang Mai’s second goal which dimmed the early efforts of the home side at the start of the second half.

Filipovic returned to the starting XI. For the fans there are few better sights than our mountainous centre-half either advancing at pace down the pitch or launching into a thunderous tackle.

His first such tackle was as early as the fourth minute when he made up yards of ground to block Arnold Suew from shooting in the penalty area.

Suchanon and Pongrawit also returned to a starting line up that more resembled how we finished against Chainat last week.

Pongrawit’s ninth minute corner hit the far post before being cleared to safety.

Chiang Mai continued to apply pressure and Ronnayod’s cross from the right side bounced off Suchanon under pressure from the Udon Thani goalkeeper, Korrakot, and fell for Kim BoYong, unmarked in the six yard area, to thump home left footed.

Udon Thani’s best first half moments came from corners which CMFC struggled  to defend. Teeratep’s corner was headed wide by Suew and from a corner on the far side Fahas’ unconvincing punch fell for Aung Kaung Mann whose shot clipped the crossbar.

Finally in first half injury time CMFC cleared the last corner of the half to Saranyoo (I think!) whose return shot was straight at Fahas.

An evenly contested first half finished with Chiang Mai leading 1-0.

Udon Thani started the second half brightly – especially down the far side where a free kick (probably meant as a cross) was bent past the far post and Fahas made a diving save away to his right.

Korrakot was looking a little unsettled in the Udon Thani goal. He fumbled a rather tame fee kick from Pongrawit and then made what can only be described as a dogs dinner of a back pass from his right back.

It was an easy ball to deal with; maybe the keeper was aware of the onrushing Kim BoYong; but he took a heavy first touch and Kim was able to drag the ball away from the keeper, turn and then tuck the ball into the goal from a narrow angle. Opportunism from one; costly carelessness from the other.

Ten minutes later and the game was over; Stewart’s long throw fell for Chatchai, on as substitute and playing against his old club; twelve yards out from goal he had time to turn on the penalty spot and shoot underneath the goalkeeper who again may think he should have done better.

A tip of the hat to the Udon Thani fans who drummed and sang for all 90 minutes; they have had a difficult season but were still loud and proud.

On a day when NakhonSi United (at Suphanburi) and the other Chiang Mai football club (at home to Phrae) both lost this was a valuable three points as the gap between the top ten or so clubs in the league narrows once again, with eight points separating the top nine clubs.

Out last home game of 2022 and the last game of the first half of the season is at home to Samut Prakan City next Sunday, 11 December, at 18.30pm.