Thai League 2
28 January 2024
Pattaya United 1 Chiang Mai FC 0
Chiang Mai FC
Flavio stoops to conquer
Chiang Mai were unchanged for their visit to Pattaya on Sunday night retaining the same starting XI from the previous week’s fine home win over Nongbua Pitchaya.
But the pace and enterprise from that game was replaced by a ponderous performance against a Pattaya side that knows it’s game plan and sticks to it.
Chiang Mai FC home and away are rather like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At home CMFC have won nine of eleven matches and lost just one game while scoring thirty goals; for 28 points from a possible 33 at home.
Away from home Chiang Mai have won just two of ten games, with four draws and four defeats and only scoring eight times. Just 10 points from a possible 30.
On away form only that would make CMFC a mid table side alongside Lampang, Samut Prakan City and Phrae.
Ayutthaya are the form team on the road with 19 points from 11 games. The Swatcats have the same number of points but have played an away game more.
On a poorly-lit, bumpy, sandy pitch at the Nongprue stadium CMFC too often needed an extra touch; it was all a little uncertain.
An early shooting opportunity for Stenio was blocked by the excellent Flavio.
Flavio then headed on a long throw from Wanmai across the penalty area where Judivan hooked the ball over his shoulder from 12 yards; his shot beat Fahas but bounced off his left post and across the face of the goal where Piyachanok’s clearance must have landed somewhere in the next province.
Twenty minutes gone and confusion between Akarawin and Im ChangKyoon gifted the ball to Judivan. Narakorn ran behind Adisak into the penalty area and met Judivan’s measured pass with a right foot shot that Fahas did well to save with his outstretched right leg.
At the other end Im’s deep cross from the left was headed back to the six yard box by Stenio but Chitchanok’s header was straight at Chainarong in the Pattaya goal.
0-0 at half time and Chiang Mai made a bright start to the second half. A lovely reverse pass down the left side from Jakkapan released Suchanon on the left side of the penalty area. Biding his time his pass found Im in space for a shot that was wide of the upright.
Stenio ran onto a long ball forward from Alef but also shot wide from a more difficult angle left side of the penalty area.
Two successive corners followed for the home side. The first corner was deep into the box and Flavio’s header looped off the top of the crossbar and was cleared.
The second corner was flatter and Flavio had moved into a more central position. He simply stooped unchallenged to guide his header into the far corner past Fahas’ right hand. There were plenty of defenders around him but none made any telling challenge.
With a one goal lead Pattaya reverted to type doing all that they could to delay the game and frustrate the visitors. Not pretty but effective.
A couple of late chances for CMFC: Stenio from ten yards headed Im’s free kick low but straight at the keeper.
Yoo Byung Soo on as a substitute controlled a cross from deep on the left wing but under pressure his close range shot was blocked by Chainarong at the near post.
Chiang Mai return to the Municipal Stadium on Friday for a 7pm kick off at home to Rayong, before heading off for away games at Krabi and Nakhon Si United next week. Rayong sit one point and one place behind CMFC in the T2 table.
In other results at the weekend Lampang disposed of Nakhon Si United 3-1; Nongbua beat Chiang Mai United 2-1. Ayutthaya were 3-1 winners at Kasetsart and Krabi earned an unexpected 2-2 draw at home to the Swatcats.
The top of the table after 21 matches:
TABLE THAI LEAGUE 2
# Club Played +/- Pts
1 Nakhonsi United 21 19 43
2 Nongbua Pitchaya 21 18 43
3 Nakhonratchasima 21 17 42
4 Chiangmai FC 21 19 38
5 Rayong FC 21 17 37
6 Ayutthaya United 21 10 35