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Sunday 1st October 2023 - 16:00pm Thailand / 09:00pm GMT - BPL Div 2

Futera United edged out AUU Dream Team in a seven-goal thriller to all but confirm their runner-up position in the Bangkok Premier League Division Two. An exciting game saw Futera come from behind to claim the three points, securing their second successive promotion.

Futera kicked off on a fantastic playing surface at the AUU Inter Bangkok ground and immediately swarmed over their opponents, forcing them back and winning a corner inside the first minute. This set the pattern, and Futera dominated the opening quarter. Golf should have opened the scoring but mistimed his shot two yards out, and the keeper saved easily. With Pang and Mai on one flank and Aek and Bank on the other flank, Futera were playing some great football, and it seemed only a matter of time before they would take the lead.

With virtually their first meaningful foray into the Futera half, AUU took the lead. A through ball caught out M and Mark, allowing the home team’s striker to stride through and power home past Film to take an undeserved lead. Futera responded well and deservedly equalised when Bank cut in from the left flank and curled in a delightful right-footed shot that nestled into the bottom corner. Minutes later, a clumsy challenge from the AUU centre-back resulted in a penalty for the away side. Mai stepped up, and despite a valiant effort from the AUU keeper, his powerful shot flew into the top left-hand corner to make the score 2-1. AUU were back on level terms when a poorly-hit corner was somehow missed by numerous Futera defenders, allowing the AUU striker to smash home from a yard. AUU had the chance to take the lead when the referee gave a penalty after an innocuous challenge from Bas, but lacking composure, their striker blazed over high and wide.

Futera, buoyed by this let-off, stormed back, and an incredible run from the tireless Bew saw him beat several players on the left flank before crossing to Golf, who finished at the second attempt to give the away side the lead. The referee blew the whistle for half-time with Futera holding a slender 3-2 advantage.

AUU started the second half on the front foot, and Futera were unable to gain any sort of foothold in the game, forcing them to defend very deep. Time and time again, Futera gave the ball away cheaply, allowing AUU to create several chances, but with Film in top form, Futera managed to hold on to their lead. Despite being forced back, Futera still looked dangerous on the break, and Aek, who put in a great performance, latched onto an incisive through ball from Bew to round the AUU keeper with ease and fire the ball into the empty net, giving the away side some breathing space. AUU continued to throw everything they had at Futera, but outstanding defensive displays from skipper M and the returning Tewit saw them become increasingly frustrated. With five minutes remaining, AUU reduced the deficit when a scramble in the box fell to their striker, whose fierce drive beat Chang, on for Film, to make the score 4-3. Futera managed to see out the remaining 5 minutes with relative ease and were good value for their 4-3 victory.

An exciting game where Futera played some excellent football and were the superior side for much of the first half. Basic defensive errors allowed AUU back into the game, but Futera’s grit and determination allowed them to hang on and claim the three points, all but sealing the runner-up slot. I thought Aek had a tremendous game at left-back, and Bew, as usual, controlled things in midfield. Once again, defensive errors cost us, and these must be eradicated as we play better teams. Another successful season has seen Futera gain another promotion, and with a huge FA Cup match this week, there is plenty to look forward to.

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