Back on track

Picture: @cmfcofficial

Match report
Thai League 2
29 October 2023

Chiang Mai FC 2 Customs United 0

Chiang Mai FC

Im ChangKyoon
Yoo ByungSoo

Back on track

After a difficult October CMFC eased to a relatively comfortable 2-0 win against Customs United who remain one of the likely relegation candidates.

There will be tougher games ahead against tougher opposition but this was just the game that the players new coaching staff and fans needed. Clear the cobwebs; move on from the past and reset for the future.

CMFC lined up as a 4-3-3 but with both full backs advancing as wing-halfs. Amornthep and Tawan hugged their touchlines – everyone loves a flying winger.

Stenio Junior was absent – after his over-zealous collection of yellow cards in the opening games. Chappuis, Suchanon, Chitchanok were unavailable with injuries.

The home team could not have had a better start as Yoo Byung Soo, wide left, released Amornthep at pace in behind the Customs back line; inside the penalty area he looked to have taken a heavy touch but Anuphong hesitated leaving his line allowing Amornthep the room to make his pass for Tawan to finish with his left foot from six yards – and also to celebrate in style in front of the East Stand.

Anuphong then made a fine reflex save near to keep out Yoo Byung Soo’s close range header as the big forward barnstormed between the two centre backs to reach Sarawin’s inviting cross.

Customs were not totally passive: Narathip shot wide and Coulibaly volleyed into the side netting.

Customs were also getting the benefit of the linesman’s flag; especially when Yoo ran onto a defense splitting pass from Im ChangKyoon; Thawatchai was clearly playing Yoo onside.

Under pressure Verzura was booked for pulling back Yoo; and Kone was booked for a poor challenge on Cuerva.

Into the last minute of first half injury tie and in with both sides thinking about half time Customs failed to clear Fahas’ long ball forward; Sarawut found Im; his clever short diagonal pass released Saharat Posri behind a static defense. Saharat’s pass into the penalty was tidily finished by Yoo Byung Soo.

Customs first shot on goal came from a free kick in the 46th minute – taken by Narathip the shot was straight at Fahas.

Customs were having the better of the game at this stage of the second half; Fahas cutting out a cross from the left and Coulibaly’s right side cross evading Kouadio, in front of goal, by inches.

A Customs corner was headed down towards the six yard box where Thawatchai showing the striking deftness of a big defender flicked the ball over the cross bar.

A late flourish from the home side in injury time saw a Jakkapan free kick bounce off the Customs’ keeper for a corner; he also saved from Samroeng after a strong run into the penalty area and saved from Akarawin.

So a much needed win for CMFC and for the new head coach whose touchline encouragement and expressive behaviour were a happy reminder of Carlos Perreira. It must be the Latin temperament.

The team also looked more confident in their interactions with the new regime and hopefully we will now enjoy a period of calm where football takes priority over changes in personnel.

David Cuerva will have enjoyed this win over his old club. Allowed freedom to roam from box to box he was at his best yesterday finding and creating space for himself and his team-mates.

The top half of T2 has suddenly become very crowded. It will probably remain so until the end of the first leg games; then we will see what changes clubs want, and can afford, to make. In many ways the real season will begin in January.