The late De Leeuw show

When you lose the local derby – picture: cmfcofficial

Thai League 2 2022-2023 – Wednesday 15 March 2023

Chiang Mai FC 1 Chiang Mai United 2

Chiang Mai FC:

Kim BoYong

Chiang Mai FC lost at home 1-2 on Wednesday night to promotion-chasing Chiang Mai United in front of 2,617 fans; by some distance our biggest home crowd of our T2 season.

Two top class goals bookended the match, which was predictably competitive and occasionally feisty,

CMFC gave a first start to Japanese striker Yuta Hirayama in a 4-2-3-1 formation which often left Hirayama chasing scraps up front.

Ryhan Stewart returned to the starting line up for the first time since 3 February sporting a Vinnie Jones (ask an older UK football fan!) style haircut.

Thammayut and Saharat Posri also started in a side that looked like it was designed for speed and mobility.

CMU opened the scoring after just 2 minutes. It was a lovely goal. Starting with Pairot (35) in goal five CMU players were involved in a pacey series of passes down the left side. The last of the five, Deyvison (10), eased past Saharat to the goal-line and his low cross was turned home by Worayut (65) running at pace towards the six yard box.

Injured when scoring the goal Worayut was replaced soon after by Nanthawat.

Minutes later Kittipat’s (8) cross from the right side was headed over by Deyvison but it was a rare goal threat in a first half that simmered along without quite boiling over

Surawich (5) twice pulled down Kim BoYong; and the referee eventually booked Thanawich (19) for a foul on the Korean striker and then booked Pansiri (27) for bringing down Stewart on the right wing.

Surawich was leading a charmed life; he pulled back Hirayama in full flight down the Chiang Mai right. Hirayama is quick and if he had got away from the defender he had a clear run on goal. Remarkably, still no card.

Pansiri’s shot drew a comfortable save from Fahas as, led by Deyvison, CMU continued to press forward.

In first half injury time Ronnayod’s 25 yard shot was deflected wide and Veljko headed the subsequent corner past the far post under pressure from Ronnapee (55). Half time saw Kim BoYong pushed up to center forward after Hirayama was substituted. Im ChangKyoon coming on to the right side of midfield.

Kim saw as little of the ball as Hirayama before him and was taken off on the hour. At which point CMFC made what appeared to be an inspired change. Tawan came on and he and Suchanon played as a front two. The impact was immediate.

Im’s free kick was only partially cleared by CMU and Im was able to stab the loose ball forward into the penalty area; Filipovic leapt above Sirisak (15) to nod the ball down into the path of Tawan who thumped the ball past Pairot from six yards before his usual gravity-defying celebration.

CMU wanted the three points; Melvin de Leeuw (23) had missed the last two game with a shoulder injury. He replaced Kittipat (8).

Yet for all of the effort in midfield neither goalkeeper was required to make a save of note. Deyvison’s threatening cross from the left side was blocked. Im ChangKyoon’s reverse pass into the penalty area found Suchanon who shot high and wide.

86 minute gone and De Leeuw and Suwannapat jumped together for a long ball forward from Pairot. There looked to be nothing in the challenge but the referee awarded CMU a free kick some 25 yards from goal.

De Leeuw’s left foot free kick was as good as any you will see all season. It flew past the wall, past Fahas’ dive and into the goal off the right hand upright.  

Sarawut was then booked for a lunging late challenge on Deyvison in front of the East stand. It could have been a straight red. The two teams piled in for a pushing match. Even the goalkeepers ran to get involved.

Water bottles and paper cups were thrown onto the pitch. Suwannapat pleaded for calm. The linesman and Deyvison, who appeared to be the target of fans’ anger while he was on the touchline waiting to return after the foul, both headed for safety on the pitch.

Five minutes of injury time turned into nine as peace was restored.

CMFC will no doubt get a heavy fine from the Thai FA; especially since this was a repeat of similar scenes at the 700th at the end of last year.

CMU had earned their win; they simply showed greater desire. After equalizing CMFC looked like they would have been comfortable to take a point. CMU wanted all three and De Leeuw’s strike was a worthy match-winner.

The game had been feisty, hard-fought and entertaining. With two wins in two games Wanderley has had an impact at CMU and they must be one of the favorites for automatic promotion.

Chiang Mai meanwhile head to Trat for a 17.30pm kick off on Saturday. Trat have won five in a row and put eight past a hapless Udon Thani side last night and six past Ranong last weekend.