10th September 2023 - 16:00pm Thailand / 09:00am GMT - BPL Div 2
Futera United bounced back from consecutive defeats to secure a valuable three points with a comfortable 4-0 win over a stubborn Escobar side. After the bitter disappointment of the previous week's cup exit, it was imperative that Futera returned to winning ways, and their young team duly responded with a strong display.
Futera kicked off showing no signs of a cup hangover and immediately dominated possession, forcing a succession of corners. Futera should have gone ahead in the eighth minute when Golf pounced on a defensive mistake. He rounded the keeper, but his tame shot was cleared off the line by a last-ditch effort from the Escobar centre-back. Minutes later, Phu was played through by a sublime pass from Save, and after expertly sidestepping the covering defender, he was crudely taken down by a clumsy challenge. However, the referee unbelievably waved play on.
Despite their dominance, Futera was caught by a swift counter-attack in the 31st minute. Escobar beat the offside trap, and their centre forward had a free run on goal, but he was unable to beat Film, who stood up confidently, forcing the striker to fire wide. Futera continued to push forward, but their final ball lacked quality, and the halftime whistle blew with the sides all square at 0-0.
The second half kicked off in the same pattern as the first, with Futera very much on top, forcing their opponents to sit deep and look to attack on the counter. The lead Futera deserved finally arrived to the relief of their travelling fans when the excellent Save dispossessed the Escobar centre-back, and his low-angled drive found the bottom left-hand corner to give the away team a 1-0 advantage. Escobar almost hit back immediately when, again, Futera's high line was caught out, only for the home team's striker to shoot wide of the goal. A let-off for Futera, who extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Phu played a neat one-two with Save before rounding the keeper and firing home for his twelfth goal of the season. A delightful chip from Bank sailed inches over as Futera looked to improve their goal difference in the closing minutes.
A game that had been simmering exploded in the 80th minute when the Escobar midfielder charged into Four after an innocuous-looking challenge. Once the referee had restored order after the ensuing melee of pushing and shoving, the home team were reduced to ten men. Futera took full advantage of their numerical superiority, and Mai finished calmly in the 87th minute before Bank completed the scoring in the last minute with a curling strike that made the final score 4-0.
It was a must-win for Futera, who made hard work against stubborn opposition. Despite dominating possession in the first half, the final ball lacked real quality, and they failed to create any clear-cut chances. In the second half, they stepped up the pace, and I thought Mai injected some pace and directness which seemed to be lacking in the first half. Young Mark at centre-back plays with a maturity beyond his tender years, and captain M once again put in an incredible performance. It's good to see the team back to winning ways as they continue their pursuit of the Bangkok Premier League Div 2 title.