To boldly go where we have not been before

Pre match v Khon Kaen United

REVO League Cup 2022-2023

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Chiang Mai FC 2 Khon Kaen United 0

Chiang Mai FC:

A crowd of 878 saw CMFC advance to the quarter finals of the REVO League Cup with a well-earned 2-0 win at home to T1 Khon Kaen United.

As far as I can tell this is unprecedented as we do not appear to have previously survived the round of 16.

And it was a thoroughly deserved win full of hard work, pace and commitment.

Khon Kaen are a big side – tall and physical – but bereft of anything that resembled a plan. Their first shot on target was a free kick in second half injury time gratefully gathered by Narawit,

Narawit, as predicted, made his first start in goal for the club. He is only 19. While his handling was not always convincing the experience will have done him so much good; as will a clean sheet.

Piyachanok and Sarawut started at centre back. Coach Fukuda does not like to highlight individual contributions in a team game; but Piyachanok was immense. He does the simple things with massive efficiency and makes the difficult things look much easier than they are.

Phommin was captain for the evening; and rose to the role and occasion. With Ronnayod and Srithai running their socks off the midfield was solid throughout.

Chatchai was a revelation; we have seen too little of him; in part because of the form of Tawan and Pongrawit but again his contribution down the left flank was tireless.

Up front Tawan is thriving from regular first team football and he was partnered tonight by local lad, Amornthep, whose pace and enthusiasm were rewarded with the match clinching goal in the 87th minute.

It was Amornthp’s first start of the season; and his second goal for CMFC; eleven months after his first at Lamphun in February 2022.

The first half chances were dominated by the home side. Tawan and Amornthep combining in the 7th minute for Amornthep’s shot to be saved by Chaloemphat (31) diving low to his left.

Khon Kaen responded in kind with Ezzajjaria (99) releasing Wilson Indio inside the penalty area; the Brazilan forward, under pressure from Sarawin, shot wide.

Amornthep’s sidefoot shot from a Ronnayod pass was inches wide before he scooped his shot at the goalkeeper from another Ronnayod pass.

Ezzajjaria (99), the Spanish/Morrocan centre forward was the visitors main threat when he could escape Sarawut and Piyachanok. His best first half chance was dragged wide of the near post.

CMFC scored in the 41st minute when Tawan collected the ball in his own half; advanced at pace, releasing Ronnayod on the right of the penalty area and running on to receive the return pass and slide it past the goalkeeper. It was a glorious counter-attacking goal. Tawan’s acrobatic celebration was top class.

Early Khon Kaen pressure was likely at the start of the second half; chances were fewer as CMFC sat a little deeper.

A series of Khon Kaen corners and free kicks were poorly delivered; often not beating the front defender and failing to threaten the inexperienced Narawit.

Piyachanok’s challenge was sufficient to deflect an Ezzajjaria shot over the crossbar.

And then in the 87th minute Im ChangKyoon’s free kick in the centre of the Khon Kaen half was chipped towards the left of the penalty area. Sarawut’s header back across the goal reached Amornthep stealing in at the far post for a tidy headed finish and a joyful celebration.

Chiang Mai played out time with Narawin gathering Khon Kaen’s one shot on goal from an injury time free kick. 

The other teams in the last eight are: Buriram, Bangkok United, Lamphun Warriors; Ratchaburi; PT Prachuap; BG Pathum United and Samut Songkhram, the only survivor from T3. Sadly I do not know when the draw for the quarter finals will be made.