Thai League 2
4 November 2023
Phrae United 1 Chiang Mai FC 1
Chiang Mai FC
The 1977 movie Slapshot depicts a minor league American ice hockey team that resorts to violent play to gain popularity in a declining factory town.
The remake should be set in Phrae where a team that once played attractive football is now playing some of the ugliest, match-spoiling, time-wasting, in-your-face, football to be seen in Thailand.
On a difficult pitch, with a difficult referee and against a difficult team Chiang Mai will likely be happy enough with an away point.
Floodlight failures before the kick off and after fifteen minutes led in total to a thirty minute delay to the game.
And even when the lights did work they are only just adequate. So why was one team in dark red and the other in dark blue? CMFC’s white away kit would have made much more sense.
Phrae are anti-football. And play very little of it themselves.Which is a shame as their opening goal was impeccably crafted and taken; their one moment of quality.
In Haavar Dahl they have a player whose sole purpose appears to be to antagonize the other team while at the same time whining to the referee about the injustices of life.
Phrae pressed early and Fahas and Sarawin combined to cut out a cross from Chatchana on the Phrae right.
Chiang Mai only partially cleared the resulting corner; the ball reaching Apisit on the right side; his deep cross found Cruz and a neat combination between Cruz and Chatchana released Warut to fire home from ten yards. It was a really well worked goal.
Two good interceptions by Fahas followed, in particular to cut out a clever diagonal ball forward from Daubermann.
At the other end Im ChangKyoon’s long range shot was probably going wide but it was helped on by Siriwak who soon after clawed away a cross from the same forward.
Tempers had simmered in the first half. They exploded in the first minute of the second half. The referee gave a free kick for a foul by Sarawut on Chatchana. That should have been the end of it.
But Daubermann, who really needs to be kept on a leash, sprinted towards Cuerva, who was next seen flat on his back holding his face, Stenio and Piyachanook were also down. The referee and linesman are now surrounded.
Stenio was booked – he looked more than a little surprised. Patrick Cruz got a straight red card. Possibly for stamping on Cuerva. Daubermann was unpunished.
Tawan replaced Thammayut; with Jakkapan on for Posri.
Ten minutes later tempers flared again. Settawut reacted angrily to a challenge by Tawan; again the referee had already blown for a free kick. Stenio flew in. Piyacahanok and Daubermann squared up. Piyachanok was booked.
With the man advantage Chiang Mai were enjoying the majority of possession and Im ChangKyoon’s sweetly struck 25 yard shot was punched away by Siriwat stretching to his left.
With twenty minutes to go Chiang Mai equalised – a first goal for Nattayot who calmy finished from ten yards after Stenio’s run and left foot cross pinballed around the Phrae penalty area.
With Phrae at times resorting to a back six they were hard to break down. Delays; time-wasting and apparent injuries all just slowed the game down further.
Jakkapan’s 22 yard free kick was comfortably saved.
With ten minutes remaining Piyanchanok and the incredibly irritating Haavar Dahl both jumped for a bouncing ball in midfield. Dahl went down holding his face with an Oscar-worthy performance. Piyachanok was given a second yellow and sent off.
By this stage the smell of buffalo dung was blowing over the stadium. It seemed so appropriate for a match that stunk this badly.
On 90 minutes a dinked Jakkapan cross found Tawan who headed the ball against the base of the far post.
By this time Daubermann was even wresting with his own goalkeeper.
The fourth official may need a new Timex. He gave just four minutes of added time.
Predictably the two sides squared up again as the whistle blew; and equally predictably the Phrae keeper sprinted seventy yards to get involved.
The crowd was 956; 310 more than the next best Phrae home crowd this season. There was plenty of loud support from Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai entertain Suphanburi next Sunday (12 November) at 6pm.