24 September 2023
Thai League 2
Rayong FC 0 Chiang Mai FC 0
Chiang Mai remain unbeaten this season. Rayong remain unbeaten at home. The tea leaves could have foreseen this result. It was ninety minutes that will not live long in anyone’s memory.
This was a game that simmered without really catching alight. Chiang Mai had the two nearest misses; hitting the woodwork twice and also having a strong penalty shout turned down.
Overall it was a good day for defenders; Nukoolkit was exemplary and Katano continues to defy his age with an “I’m in charge” performance for the home side.
Chiang Mai made just one change from last weekend bringing in the extra pace of Chitchanok for Akarawin.
The PA announcer celebrated by playing Thin Lizzy’s “Whisky in the Jar.” Splendid.
The first chance fell to Rayong’s Theppitak who, with time to pick his target, blasted the ball wide of the far post from eight yards. Later in the half he would get his shot on target but straight at Fahas.
It was almost thirty minutes into the game when CMFC had their first opportunity. Im Chang Kyoon’s chip from the left of the penalty area found Yoo Byung Soo at the back post. His header was aimed back across the six yard box for Chitchanok – who, with time to steady his balance, blasted the ball against the crossbar.
At the other end Chulapa got his left foot to a low cross from the lively Ryoma Ito; but without power it was a comfortable save for Fahas.
Minutes into the second half and Aphiwat pulled down Chitchanok in full flight. It was a poor foul and an immediate booking. Charyl Chappuis and Yodrak were also booked presumably as the instigators of the minor melee that followed.
Chitchanok could not continue and worryingly left the field on a stretcher holding the back of his right calf.
Thammayut replaced him and made an early contribution with a first time cross that Stenio, in front of goal and the away fans, somehow could only divert wide.
Then it was Yoo Byung Soo who hit the woodwork; taking a chipped cross on his chest, spinning to his left and volleying against the crossbar from twelve yards.
Chappuis pulled up with what looked like a sore hamstring – hopefully nothing more than a twinge.
Im Chang Kyoon was caught in a clash of heads where both players needed treatment.
Noppakun then caught an Im Chang Kyoon corner under pressure from Sarawut; the small tug on the goalkeeper’s shirt did not excuse the flying elbow from the goalkeeper. The connection with Sarawut was not serious but the intent was there. Noppakun’s look of aggrieved innocence conned the referee but no one else.
At which point Rayong gave up as an attacking force playing at walking pace inside their own half. This probably suited Chiang Mai who if they are honest would have happily taken an away point at Ranong.
Chiang Mai slip to second place in T2 just a single point behind the Swatcats who won 3-1 at Samut Prakan city last night.
Up next ; home v Krabi FC – Saturday 30th September- Municipal Stadium – 7.00pm.