That same old song

Picture: Official CMFC

Thai League 2 2022-2023 : Saturday 1 April 2023

Chainat Hornbill FC 1 Chiang Mai FC 0

Chiang Mai FC:

Im ChangKyoon
Kim BoYong

It was the same old song on Saturday night in Chainat. CMFC have played seven games on the road in 2023 – played seven, lost six, drawn one, scored one, conceded nine. The only goal coming in the 1-4 drubbing at Rayong.

Five of the seven games have ended in 0-1 defeats.

For traveling supporters this is increasingly grim, verging on masochism. The story was a familiar one; fall behind; create some chances; fail to score; lose game.

Narawit started in goal as Fahas is carrying a shoulder injury. Kim BoYong was preferred up front after his strong second half in midweek. Sarawin returned in a back four.

Chainat might have scored in the first minute when Fittaree (6) ran goalside of Sarawut and was halted by an alert block from Narawit.

Wellington (34) had Chainat’s next effort on goal with an overhead kick that looked impressive but was lobbed at Narawit.

In the tenth minute Chainat scored. Filipovic and Diego Silva(24) tussled outside the penalty area; Diego doing well to hold off the challenge and slide a pass for Chatuphum (30). Running into the edge of the area he rifled the ball beyond Narawit before Chatchai and Ronnayod could intercept him. It was a well worked and well taken goal.

Diego was sporting a blue rinse which suggested that his last haircut was in Chernobyl.

Chainat might have added to the score ten minutes later as a Chiang Mai attack broke down and Chataphum’s long crossfield ball found Tanayut (14) on the left of the penalty area; his stepover beat Sarawin but his shot bounced off Narawit’s knees.

Chiang Mai’s first chance of note fell to Kim BoYong running onto a clever pass from Im ChangKyoon but Pathomtat (25) was quickly off his line to make the block.

There was little of note in the remainder of the half; though Tawan moved out to the left wing and looked lively; he might have been unlucky not to win a penalty; the referee suggesting a dive rather than the fairly obvious push in his back.

Half time saw Srithai replace Ronnayod.

And for the first ten minutes of the second half CMFC looked threatening.

Pathomtat turned Im ChangKyoon’s angled shot over the crossbar; Sarawin’s corner falling for Kim BoYong whose half volley from six yards was straight at the Chainat keeper.

Im ChangKyoon, who always appears to have a little more time than others, released Tawan with a ball splitting the defense but Tawan’s shot from a narrow angle hit the outside of the upright.

In a near replica minutes later Tawan’s cross (or was it a shot?) was parried by Pathomtat; Kim BoYong reacted first to reach the rebound but could only direct the ball against the base of that same well-used upright.

That was about it for Chiang Mai going forward.

Sarayut (28) and Narawit collided for a through ball into the Chiang Mai penalty area; Sarayut caught the Chiang Mai goalkeeper and was booked. It was probably the right decision despite an angry reaction from Suwannaphat and especially Phommin.

Maybe still shaking off the earlier blow Narawit could only shovel Tanayut’s 22 yard shot out in front of goal and Suwannaphat was alert to clean up the danger.

Amornthep replaced Tawan with 25 minutes remaining. Some things I just do not understand. Why leave the pace of Hirayama on the bench? Why take off Tawan who we know can score goals and who had looked lively when moved to the right side?

Amornthep’s time was to be short. Six minutes after coming on he was sent off for a high challenge on Pathomtat as he chased a ball into the penalty area. In real time it did not look good. I suspect though that there was minimal contact as Pathomtat was quickly to his feet to complain to square up to Amornthep.

Given the earlier challenge on Narawit a yellow card would have been sufficient.

Chiang Mai went to three at the back.

Chainat started to spend even more time taking rest breaks. They are masters at the art of lying down and waiting for the trainer to attend to their mystery ailments.

With ten minutes to go Chitchanok at long last made his Chiang Mai debut. He could have come on as soon as Amornthep was sent off – that would have given him a little more time to make an impression.

Filipovic moved to centre forward for the last five minutes but it all felt like too little, too late.

The only remaining satisfaction was seeing Wellington booked in injury time for a ludicrous dying swan impression as he fell in the Chiang Mai penalty area.

On a hot summer’s night the one consolation was that the Chainat air was significantly better than the toxic Chiang Mai air.

Next Saturday’s game is at home to already relegated Udon Thani. CMFC are not out of the relegation woods yet.