From famine to feast

Thai League 2 2022-2023 – Sunday 19 February 2023

Chiang Mai FC 4 Kasetsart FC 2

Chiang Mai FC:
Im ChangKyoon
Kim BoYong

Chiang Mai FC goals are a little like London buses. Nothing happens for over 180 minutes and then four arrive within thirty sublime minutes.

A 4-2 win after successive goalless draws lifts CMFC into 11th place and remarkably just 2 points off the playoff places.

Suchanon returned after injury and enjoyed a busy evening. Sarawin and Thammayut were both effective at full-back and Piyachanok and Filipovic appear to have the mutual understanding of a long-married couple.  

It made for a fun game to watch despite some mysterious refereeing.

Kasetsart looked lively in the opening minutes. Their strong front three of Omogba Esoh, Toto and Pitbull were never going to be easy to manage. An early threat saw Omogba’s pacey left wing cross volleyed over the bar by Pitbull.

Fahas then made a comfortable diving catch from a Marut free kick.

Twenty minutes had gone when Ronnayod, in the middle of his own half, launched a long ball forward for Kim BoYong on the left side of the Kasetsart penalty area. He dragged the ball down; took one look at Anusorn, the Kasetsart centre half, before turning him inside and out and rifling his left foot shot past Thirawooth and inside the far post.  It was a fine finish.

The lead lasted just four minutes. Pitbull thumped a Kasetart free kick into the defensive wall. The ball rebounded for HK Park, and he had time to take a touch before drilling the ball, from twelve yards out, low though a group of defenders and past Fahas.

It was Chiang Mai’s turn to go on the offensive – building up down the right side – the cross was a little long but found Kim BoYong on the left side who chipped a cross to the far post where Im ChangKyoon rose to head the ball back across goal and inside the far post.

Into first half injury time and as Chiang Mai struggled to clear their lines the ball fell to Pitbull on the edge of the penalty area; he had time to pick his spot and his shot was bound for the bottom right corner until Fahas at full stretch made a very good low save.

The Kasetsart half time team talk probably did not expect Chiang Mai to score twice within six minutes of the restart.

Ronnayod’s quality reverse pass from the centre circle found Suchanon running into the penalty area and one on one with Thirawooth. The ball bounced kindly for Suchanon who was able to chip the ball past the goalkeeper for a 3-1 lead.

Minutes later it was 4-1. Chatchai’s pass found Kim BoYong in the penalty area. He held off multiple defenders before poking the ball goalwards; Thirawooth made the save but could only push the ball back into the path of Chatchai who finished comfortably from a narrow angle.

A slew of substitutions took some momentum out of the game until Toto scored with a fine solo goal in the 80th minute; creating space in the penalty area before a calm left foot finish.

This created a slightly frenetic last ten minutes with Toto in particular trying to drag Kasetsart back into the game; but Fahas would be largely untroubled.

A good win for CMFC – and importantly CMFC were taking their chances.

A big week ahead – with the REVO League Cup game against BGPU on Wednesday and a Thai League 2 visit to Customs United on Sunday.

One rant is needed. Into injury time at the end of the game. A Kasetsart defender appears to be seriously injured on the far side of the pitch. The medics were on the pitch with a stretcher and the ambulance was being warmed up. The game has stopped for over 5 minutes.

Coach Fukuda wanted to make sure the lad is ok. But as soon as he left his technical area the fourth official was telling him to stay back. The officials have to do better. The match had been long stopped. Simple common sense and consideration would recognise the genuine concern of the Chiang Mai coach. Poor from overly fastidious officials