Thai League 2
1 December 2023
Chiang Mai FC 4 Chiang Mai United 0
Chiang Mai FC
A crowd of 3,212 witnessed this very welcome reversal of fortunes in the Chiang Mai derby.
Although a goal up at half time the first 45 minutes were an uncertain mess. Whatever was said at half time changed the shape of the game.
Tawan came on for Amornthep; Im ChangKyoon moved into a more natural number 10 role closer to Yoo Byung Soo and Chiang Mai started to play some of the most attractive football seen at the Municipal Stadium this season; scoring three times in the second half as United were run ragged.
Back to the beginning and Chiang Mai FC made another slow start. Mosquito, set up by Pattara, and Kantapong, both shooting narrowly wide from good positions and Fahas also needed to be alert to clear outside his penalty area in front of the speeding Mosquito.
United would rue not taking advantage of these early opportunities; Yoo Byung Soo put the ball into the Chiang Mai United net but Stenio was narrowly ruled offside in the build up. It was a brief respite.
Jaroeysak pulled down Im ChangKyoon outside the United penalty area. Im took the free kick curling the ball into the penalty area where Piyachanok stole a yard on Tossapol and stooping into a low header that Pairot diving away to his right could only push out of goal onto the head of Sarawut for the simplest of finishes.
Just before half time a very long, range effort from Jeffren Suarez needed careful handling from Fahas and a volley from Pattara drew another solid save from the CMFC keeper at his near post.
Chiang Mai United’s best chance of an equaliser came after twelve minutes of the second half. Jeffren’s inswinging free kick was met eight yards from goal by the run of substitute Warayut who tried to glance his header low past Fahas; the goalkeeper making a very smart save low to his left.
Five minutes later Tawan rose ridiculously high on the six yard line to head home a Posri cross. It looked like a practiced short corner but again Tossapol was left behind as Tawan found all the space he needed for a powerful header. It is not just the height that Tawan gets it is the hang time; add the goalscoring acrobatics for the complete showreel.
Tawan almost replicated his goal heading Jakkapan’s free kick inches over the crossbar.
The third goal came from Stenio after 79 mminutes. He collected the ball on the left side of the penalty area, cut inside Tossapol who was left flat on his back and thumped his drive with enough power to burst through Pairots’ hands.
Charyl Chappuis made a welcome return in a ten minute cameo replacing David Cuerva. One of the most telling aspects of this match up was the quality of, and options available from, the CMFC subsitutes. CMU’s substitutes were, by comparison, anonymous.
Pairot made a good low save from Tawan before Akarawin added a fourth for the home side.
A super build up down the right included a wall pass between Tawan and Stenio leaving space for Tawan to pick out Akarawin for a tap-in in front of goal.
Chiang Mai United’s fans to their credit cheered their tired team until the final whistle but they had been thoroughly outplayed in the second half and unless there are significant changes mid season CMU may be looking over their shoulder at the teams in the relegation places.
For CMFC the key will be maintaining this momentum. It was clear how much the derby win meant to the squad and management. But this is followed by a difficult trip to Ayutthaya United next Sunday.
And for the avoidance of doubt; Chiang Mai is emphatically Blue.