30 September 2023
Thai League 2
Chiang Mai FC 6 Krabi FC 1
A game that was a world away from last week’s goal-less stalemate in Rayong.
This was fun – rather less so for Krabi who, dressed in an all grey away strip that looked like it came from Walmart, did play their part.
Akarawin and Suchanon replaced the injured Chitchanok and Chappuis. Hamed Bakhtiari surprisingly was left on the Krabi bench.
The early Chiang Mai chances fell to Suchanon and Stenio but it was ex-Chiang Mai forward, Porncha, who shocked the home team with a stunning thirty yard strike in the 19th minute.
It was Krabi’s first goal this season after 559 minutes of football; Fahas had no chance as the ball curled above and beyond him.
Krabi had exposed the limitations of how Chiang Mai had set up – with Cuerva often left alone in defensive midfield to patrol too much space in front of the back four.
The goal was exactly what this game needed. Krabi had suddenly found some belief and Chiang Mai were stung into action.
The ball would hardly leave the Krabi half for the next 25 minutes; Lim ChangKyoon lifted the ball over the crossbar from close range; Stenio Jnr drove over the crossbar from the angle of the penalty area; Suchanon could not capitalise on a clever reverse pass from Cuerva.
Krabi’s lead was to last just 12 minutes, a first time pass from Stenio released Suchanon running into the penalty area; he held off the challenge from Kridsada and tucked the ball neatly inside the far post.
Panupan then made the first of a series of good saves blocking Stenio’s shot and then saving from Suchanon. His right upright denied Yoo ByungSoo’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Krabi were hanging on 1-1 at half time and the second half started much as the first had finished. Yoo ByungSoo headed narrowly wide of the far post; Stenio’s cross from the right side found Akarawin who blasted over the crossbar from 12 yards.
Akarawin, again, saw his left foot shot from 20 yards turned away by Panupan.
From that corner CMFC scored their second. A short corner; a cross to the far post; headed back across goal by Akarawin and met by Stenio’s falling header.
Panupan was keeping Krabi in the contest; a fabulous save low to his left denied Akarawin; he then saved low to his right from Yoo ByungSoo and gathered Im ChangKyoon’s shot from the edge of the penalty area.
At the other end in a rare adventure into the Chiang Mai half the Krabi substitute Julius Chukwuma’s near post shot was beaten away by Fahas.
From the corner Chiang Mai broke forward and the substitute Somroeng unselfishly teed the ball up for Yoo ByungSoo for a simple finish in front of goal for 3-1.
As Krabi both tired and realised the futility of their evening, three more goals followed in the last three minutes of regular time and four minutes of injury time. Yoo ByungSoo beat Panupan to clip home Akarawin’s pass.
Injury time belonged to Tawan; his first goal was an unstoppable shot from twenty yards; again from Akarawin’s pass; his second and Chiang Mai’s sixth was a much simpler finish from six yards running onto Akarawin’s pass; the Chiang Mai forward’s fourth assist of the evening.
It was a dynamic second half performance from the home side. But you have to have a little sympathy for Krabi who were blown away and have a long, long season in front of them.
CMFC go back to the top of the League by one point from Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda who were held at home to a goal-less draw by Rayong FC.
Chiang Mai now travel to Chumphon to play ST Youth in the FA Cup on Wednesday afternoon – before a big league game at home to Nakhon Si United at 6.30pm on Sunday 8 October.