2 September 2023
Thai League 2
Nongbua Pitchaya FC 0 Chiang Mai FC 0
A second away game and a second clean sheet. Fahas and his defense had to battle this evening, in difficult conditions, but a point at Nongbua is very welcome.
In all honesty it is not a game that will live long in the collective memories of the crowd of 2,733. But it was a performance that says a great deal about the spirit in the Chiang Mai team and their willingness to get through the tough games.
A word on the conditions – it was hot and very humid. And for reasons that are unclear the balls used tonight appeared to bounce more like Wham-O Superballs.® Maybe it was simply a very hard, fast surface but just getting the ball under control was an achievement in itself.
Chiang Mai brought back Stenio for Chitchanok in the only change from last weekend.
Nongbua, presumably chastened by the 0-2 loss at Phrae made six changes to their starting line-up including dropping Kapisoda and Nilson; although the latter did come on at half time. Four players were making their Nongbua debut for the season. Prin returned in goal and Chawin and Adisak Waen[or provided plenty of pace up front.
Prin was called into action after just 18 seconds; blocking Akarawin as he ran onto Stenio’s pass into the penalty area. That was to be Prin’s only save of note.
Although CMFC spent much of the first 45 minutes camped in their own half Fahas was relatively untroubled. He made a good sprawling stop to keep out a low, long range shot from Kento Nagasaki; and did even better to jump up and block the rebound.
For Nongbua Nilson replaced Panupong at half time. He was well contained by Piyachanok.
Akarawin shot wide from 18 yards from a knock down by Yoo ByungSoo.
Chiang Mai’s best football of the game came ten minutes into the second half when Chappuis and Cuerva combined on the right. Chappuis fired the ball into the penalty area where Yoo ByungSoo was able to turn and shoot; but straight at Prin.
A Fahas clearance to the left side was intercepted and returned with pace into the penalty area; Weerayut cushioned his header to tee-up Chawin but the Nongbua forward could not get a good connection.
A Stenio foul on Jakkrawut in front of the home dugout led to a mass clearing of the Nongbua bench. The referee booked Stenio which was all that the tackle warranted.
Sarawut did well to turn away a Nagasaki free kick at the back post and in the 84th minute CMFC had (I think) their first corner of the night. It was that kind of game.
Four minutes of injury time were played out without incident.
In fairness to both sets of players they worked really hard in tough conditions and looked shattered at the final whistle. Chiang Mai’s use of just two substitutes was a surprise.
Due to international fixtures next week our next game is at home to Pattaya United on Saturday 16 September at 5.30pm.