Wednesday 15th March 2023 - Friendly
Watch the highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bVRSubYOtw
With the exciting news that they would compete in the Bangkok Premier League Div 2 this upcoming season, Futera United completed their pre-season campaign with a resounding victory over what many believe is the best amateur team in Thailand. Hippo FC arrived at the Dome with an impressive pedigree that included being Bangkok Premier League division 1 champions and a thrilling Thai FA Cup run that saw them face off against T1 giants Muangthong United, so a stern test was expected.
With Futera’s two recent signings, Evor and Tomilinho absent, this gave the coaches and NFT holders the chance to look at more trialists with Toon and Mark starting at centre-backs and Golf upfront in the centre-forward role. A large, physically strong Hippo FC kicked off and they utilized their aerial prowess in the opening minutes when they crossed from the right for their huge striker to head narrowly wide. Futera recovered and quickly settled into the game and passed the ball about confidently. With Save and Bew dominating the midfield, Futera created several good chances with Phu’s effort from long range well saved, and after excellent work from Aek on the left wing, his cross found the impressive Ter, who with the goal at his mercy, managed to mistime his header, and Hippo survived. The first third ended with Futera well on top, and Hippo’s only threat came from long balls to their towering striker who was well marshaled by Toon and Mark.
Futera flew out of the blocks at the start of the second third, and their superior play finally paid off in the 33rd minute. Phu produced an exquisite 60-yard cross-field ball into the path of the marauding Pang, who fed Babu, and his low cross was finished off by the trialist Golf to give the home team a deserved lead. Futera continued to play controlled football, which was a joy to watch, and Golf completed his brace in the 51st minute, running onto Mai’s slide-rule pass to fire home into the bottom left-hand corner. With the clock ticking down, Hippo received a lifeline when Futera switched off and allowed a short corner to be crossed into the box, which Film misread, allowing the center-forward to gleefully head into the empty net to make the score 2-1.
Any threat of a comeback was quickly diminished in the final third when Gael caught the Hippo defense napping, intercepting a loose ball before running through to score with ease to extend Futera’s lead. Once again, Futera took control of the game with neat interplay, and in the 71st minute, Art fired home a sweet left-foot drive into the corner beyond the diving Hippo keeper after good work from Gael. An emphatic victory was completed in the 87th minute when Ice, deep in his own half, broke free of the Hippo press to spray a delightful ball out to Art on the left wing. The midfielder continued his run, and when he received the ball on the edge of the box, he beat two defenders, and his early shot deceived the keeper and nestled in the net to make the final score 5-1 to Futera.
An incredible performance from all the players involved shows that Futera United is raring to take on the challenge of Bangkok Premier League 2, and we clearly are going to be the team to beat. To a man, the team was outstanding, Mark at centre-back looked really good, as did Golf upfront. I thought Bew and Save controlled the midfield, and Ter was a revelation at right-back. To think we have dismantled a top side with a huge reputation, without Jew, Don, and our two Nigerians, demonstrates how far this fledgling team has come, and the forthcoming season is sure to be an exciting ride for both players and fans alike.