27 August 2023
Thai League 2
Chiang Mai FC 4 Lampang FC 2
Forty five uncertain minutes were quickly forgotten in an exuberant second half display from CMFC.
1-1 at half time. Chiang Mai then bossed the second half, scoring three times and it could have been more, before an injury time penalty gave some consolation to an embattled Lampang side.
At half time it had all felt a little different despite another fine start by the home team.
Chiang Mai lined up with Tawan replacing the injured Stenio Junior on the left side; otherwise the side was unchanged from last week at Samut Prakan. Chappuis had a more mobile role; right back when defending but roaming into central midfield in support of David Cuerva.
Cuerva was captain for the day and led by example; orchestrating his troops while displaying the easy elegance that belies a genuine battler.
Coach Fukuda was also back in the dugout for his first league game of the season. This does feel like the football that he wants his team to be playing.
On the opening day CMFC scored in the first minute; tonight it took an extra minute; but what a clever goal it was. A reward for the quick thinking and understanding of Chappuis and Chitchanok on the right side. A quick throw in from Chappuis; Chitchanok gets behind Kantapon; cuts inside onto his left foot. Kittisak does well to get a right hand to his low shot but can only push it into the path of Tawan who volleys home in the six yard box and follows up with a trade mark celebration.
Lampang’s response was strong; two fine catches were required from Fahas cutting out high and low crosses; his handling throughout was hugely confident.
Fahas then did well to gather Chatri’s twenty yard shot low to his left and Luan Santos headed a left side free kick over the crossbar,
The first half drifted with neither side able to assert itself on the game. But as Chiang Mai waited for the half time whistle Lampang won a free kick midfield in the Chiang Mai half. The quickly taken kick released Caio Rodriques whose diagonal run towards the penalty area was unchallenged; from the by-line he chipped his cross over Fahas where Santos (Luan) who is very tall rather easily outjumped Tawan (not so tall) to head home from close range. It was a simple goal. CMFC were already thinking of the half time oranges.
Somroeng replaced Chitchanok at the start of the second half with Tawan moving to the right wing; he immediately looked lively with an early shot narrowly over the bar.
Akarawin was first to Lim’s corner but his header was deflected for a corner. Lim again – this time on the far side. A change of plan – instead of crossing into the penalty area he hit a 35 yard pass along the far touchline to Chappuis. In a replica of their opening day goal Chappuis fired the ball into the penalty area – low and with pace; Yoo took the ball on his chest; one bounce and he turned and belted the ball home with his right foot from 12 yards.
Im ChangKyoon’s left side free kick was curled to the back post when Sarawut, unmarked, saw his on target header saved by the goalkeeper who knew little about it as the ball hit him.
Chappuis blasted over; Tawan from a narrow angle was caught between a shot and a cross and ended up with neither.
Yoo bulldozed his way into the penalty area but shot into the side netting.
Somroeng then holds the ball up near the left side corner flag; he picks an inch -perfect pass inviting Im ChangKyoon to shoot from 25 yards out from goal; one touch to set himself before he thumped the ball against the underside of the cross bar.
Another cross from Chappuis hit with pace into the penalty area picked out Yoo whose powerful header was turned away for a corner by the diving Kittisak.
Lim’s corners are now pinged into the area with Swiss precision and this one went to the back post where it was headed back across the six yard box by Sarawut for Yoo to head home in front of goal for his second,
On the edge of his own penalty area Leon Santos gifted the ball io Chappuis who had time to check his run and measure a pass for Suchanon to calmy slide the ball past Kittisak for Chiang Mai’s fourth.
Into injury time and a trip by Piyachanok on Caio Rodriques gave Lampang a consolation penalty which was calmy converted by the upended Brazilian forward.
What a second half that was. Great entertainment for almost all of a crowd of 3,085.
And a quick word for the referee who was calm throughout; tried to let the game flow and made the decisions that he needed to make. Good job.
Chiang Mai now make the pilgrimage to Nongbua Pitchaya for a 6.30pm kick off next Saturday – 2 December.