Thai League 2
22 October 2023
Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda FC 1 Chiang Mai FC 0
Chiang Mai FC
October has been a difficult month for Chiang Mai FC; more trick and less treat.
Setbacks only. And this was always going to be a difficult fixture for both the team and the new coach, Albert Garcia.
But it was a third successive defeat and also the first league goal that CMFC has conceded away from home.
The overall impression was of a more defensive approach, which saw Chiang Mai often playing deep, which suited the high press of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Nakhon Ratchasima were without their injured Brazilian forward Deyvison Fernandez.
That allowed their German/Ugandan/British center forward Melvyn Lorenzen more space to give a man of the match performance.
Overall the home team were quicker to the ball, quicker in their movement and quicker in their thought, leaving Chiang Mai with little time to settle into a pattern.
The home team set out their approach early moving the ball quickly for their wide forwards to run into gaps behind the Chiang Mai back three. Alert defending from Nukoolkit was necessary.
CMFC’s first chance fell to Yoo Byung Soo with his snap shot wide of the post after Im’s long free kick forward was headed back across goal.
Watcharin was then booked for a poor challenge as Yoo broke forward from half-way.
The first on target shot of the game was also the highlight of the first half. Lorenzen gathering the ball thirty yards from goal, accelerating into space, turning David Cuerva left and right and sending a terrific right foot strike past Fahas’ into the top right corner from 22 yards.
Lorenzen then set up Weerawat inside the Chiang Mai area. Fahas made the save low to his left.
Suchanon, injured, was replaced by Thammayut. Piyachanok looked to be struggling but continued.
Nakhon Ratchasima should have put the game to bed early in the second half; Chiang Mai relying on the woodwork and Fahas to stay in the game.
Nattawut’s left side free- kick clipped the top of the crossbar. Fahas saved well with his feet from Chanon and did better to push away Lorenzen’s shot after the forward was allowed too much room to run into the penalty area. Following up Chanon was first to the rebound but his shot was into the base of the right upright.
The Swatcats almost paid for not finishing off the game. In the 58th minute Cuerva let fly with power from 25 yards; the ball dipping beyond the goalkeeper but bouncing back into play off the crossbar.
And that was the game beyond a few scrambles at either end. The Swatcats were happy to play out the game and Chiang Mai’s substitutes could not find a way through a well organised defense that still has not conceded a goal at home this season.
CMFC head a few hours north-east for their REVO cup tie at MahaSarakham on Wednesday.
The next League game is at home to Customs on Sunday. Customs lost 1-6 at home to Rayong on Saturday…oddly all seven goals came in the second half.
Customs does feel like a must win for Chiang Mai to get the season back on track and to give the new coach a first home win.
A last note: officially the crowd was 5,904. Even the local security guards were estimating no more than 3,000.