Sunday 11th June 2023 - 19:00pm Thailand / 12:00pm GMT - BPL 2
After the bitter disappointment of a penalty shootout exit in the previous week's Thailand Amateur competition, Futera United returned to Bangkok Premier League action against the high-flying table-toppers, TOA Dovechem. Both teams entered the game undefeated, with TOA sitting at the top of the table, having swept aside all opponents and scored an unprecedented number of goals in the process.
Futera kicked off the match missing several key players, notably Bank, Mark, Kao, and skipper Jew, against TOA, who included a former Thai international among their ranks. The opening was cagey, with neither side gaining the upper hand. However, in the 8th minute, Futera lost possession in the midfield, and TOA swiftly countered. Their excellent winger, who was a constant threat throughout the night, raced down the wing, and his low cross was fired home by the center forward, despite M's valiant attempt to clear. If TOA expected Futera to roll over, this did not materialize, and the home side fought back, forcing a succession of corners that were scrambled clear. The first half finished with the away side holding a slender 1-0 advantage.
Futera got off to the worst possible start at the beginning of the second half. A direct kick from the kickoff was miscontrolled by Chang, resulting in a corner. From the subsequent corner, the TOA center back raced in unmarked to volley home, making the score 2-0 and leaving Futera with a mountain to climb. Futera hit back in the 49th minute when the impressive Save's incisive cross was met by Phu, who rounded the keeper to make the score 2-1. Futera suffered another setback minutes later when Pang was adjudged to have fouled TOA's flying winger and was given a straight red, much to the astonishment of the home fans. Fueled by this sense of injustice, Futera began to knock the ball around with real purpose and forced their opponents back. In the 55th minute, their efforts were rewarded when the outstanding Bew's cross was miscued by the TOA center back, under pressure from skipper Gael, into the net for the equalizer. A shell-shocked TOA were clearly rattled, and the 10 men went looking for the winner. Gradually, TOA regained their composure and showed their quality. Chang was called into action, bravely saving at the feet of TOA strikers on two occasions. With the clock ticking down, Nu unleashed a ferocious drive from 30 yards that beat the TOA keeper, only to thunder against the crossbar. TOA responded, and in the final minute, went close, but once again, Futera's defense stood firm, and the enthralling game ended 2-2.
It was a fantastic performance from Futera, with every player producing an outstanding display against a very good TOA side. The team showed real character to come back from 2-0 down, and on another day, they may well have stolen three points. Tewit at the back had an excellent game, as did Bew and Save. It was a thrilling game and a fitting send-off for skipper for the day, Gael Basana, who sadly is leaving. Gael has been an integral part of Futera's meteoric rise, and he will be sorely missed by everyone involved with the club. Both teams remain undefeated, and the battle for the Bangkok Premier League Division 2 title is truly on.