Picture: cmfc official
Thai League 2
10 December 2023
Ayutthaya United 0 Chiang Mai FC 2
Chiang Mai FC
Midway through last week’s game with the other Chiang Mai side Im Chang Kyoon moved into a more central number 10 role supporting Yoo Byung Soo.
This week he started in that same role and all the qualities that we know that he has were once again on show with two smartly taken goals either side of half time.
Seksit and Jakkapan both made their first starts for CMFC against their old team; Seksit would only last twenty minutes before being forced off with an injury. Jakkapan played all ninety minutes; no mean feat in the heat and humidity of Ayutthaya.
CMFC were once again slow to start; why is that? Guntapon, a constant threat, shot wide from a narrow angle after turning and outpacing Piyachanok down the left side.
With Sarawut backing away Sanoh let fly from 25 yards. It was a fabulously struck shot that beat Fahas but cannoned back off the crossbar.
Natcha was booked for a foul of Yoo. Yoo looked to have taken revenge with his fine control and finish from Jakkapan’s free kick but he was ruled offside. It was marginal.
Natcha’s second yellow card followed minutes later for a late challenge on Piyachanok.
into first half injury time and CMFC took the lead. Stenio got in behind the left side of the Ayutthaya defense; advancing on the penalty area his short pass into Im Chang Kyoon was finished in style. Im’s first goal of the season; overdue perhaps, but well worth waiting for, and in this role and form there are many more to come.
Local supporters were not happy suggesting a foul by Stenio in the build-up and also reflecting an assortment of long held and angry grievances.
The ten-man home side made a lively start to the second half; Guntapon scuffing a shot from a hard low right wing cross and Fahas making a very smart interception to halt Andre Luis
At the other end Nattayot and Chappuis combined down the right and Nattayot’s cross for Yoo was smacked off the crossbar.
A long ball forward from Fahas was then headed on by Stenio into the path of Yoo; he could have taken the left foot shot himself but instead squared the ball for Im ChangKyoon in front of goal who hit it firmly past Phuwadol with his right foot.
At 2-0 it should have been game over; but Ayutthaya were still full of running and were creating better opportunities. Guntapon set up Narrawut who drew a smart save low to his left from Fahas; Guntapon shot wide of the right upright as the ball bounced around the Chiang Mai penalty area and Sanoh’s free kick was well saved by Fahas at his near post.
Best of all – a Karolis header looped over Fahas onto the right hand post; ran, albeit in slow motion, along the goal line; bounced off the left post and rolled back into the grateful arms of the Chaing Mai keeper.
Six minutes of added time reflected a series of injuries and a certain amount of timewasting by the visitors.
There was one last chance for the home side as a loose backpass required a smart block from Fahas; Piyachanok’s foul on the edge of the area earning in a second yellow card; he will presumably miss the game against Chanthaburi.
This was just Ayutthaya’s second home defeat of the season and was Chiang Mai’s second away win.
Fortune probably favoured CMFC tonight and the early sending off of Natcha was significant but not without irony given last season’s dismissal of Suwit also for two yellow cards.
Jakkapan reveled in his first start and must have covered every blade of grass. It was, by some distance, his best CMFC performance. Though it is a little unfair to pick out names from a very good team performance.
Next Sunday CMFC entertain struggling Chanthaburi at the Municipal Stadium – a 6.30 pm kick off.