23rd June 2022 - 17:30pm Thailand / 11:30am BST (UK) / 10:30am GMT - The Test
Delusions of grandeur or are Futera United the real deal, these were the pertinent questions that ‘The Test’ would surely answer. The premise of this concept is that Futera United will play teams, who on paper are deemed superior, and if they win they will play teams from higher divisions with the ultimate aim to play a T1 side. Nonthaburi City, currently riding high in the Bangkok Premier league division 1 would be Futera United’s first opponents and offer a formidable challenge.
Futera’s young team looked eager to impress and show they can compete at this level, and they flew out the blocks dominating the opening exchanges. Tishan had the ball in the net inside 10 minutes but it was ruled out for offside. The returning Phu, sorely missed the previous week, was excellent looking to get on the ball at every opportunity and create chances and In the 24th minute he dropped his shoulder leaving the Nontaburi defender in his wake and unleashed a fierce strike from 30 yards that left the crossbar reverberating.
With Futera playing some excellent football several openings were made with both Gael and Jew going close. The goal that Futera’s play deserved came in the 34th minute when Bank cut inside from the left flank and drove a low shot into the bottom corner leaving the Nontaburi keeper helpless. The half time whistle went on what had been an impressive 45 minutes for Futera who were certainly not overawed by their division 1 opponents.
Futera continued in the ascendancy in the second half and moved the ball with pace and purpose, Tishan leading the line was a real handful for the Nonthaburi-centre backs and went close on two occasions. In the 73rd minute a fine flowing move saw Jew on the overlap, put in a delightful cross that was swept home clinically by Ter to make the score 2-0 to Futera. Minutes later an astute diagonal ball from Stefan played in Nu on the left wing and his cut back found the eager Art who smashed the ball into the roof of the net to extend Futera’s lead further.
With the clock ticking down a punt down field from the Nonthaburi keeper was misjudged by Owen allowing the striker to race through and deftly chip Phon for a consolation goal. A bizarre end to the game saw the referee award a penalty for an innocuous challenge on Stefan and with both teams stunned by the decision Nu stepped up and sportingly shot deliberately wide to make the final score 3-1 to Futera.
A great start to ‘The Test’ and I thought the first half was the best we have played. Phu and Jew were excellent in the midfield and Bank and Gael’s pace on the flanks were a constant threat. Uptop Tishan showed glimpses of what he is capable of and I’m sure he will get better as his match fitness returns. We seem to play much better against better quality teams and ‘The Test’ is going to be an exciting journey. Next game will hopefully be against a T3 team which will be a real step up but I am confident that our young team, who continue to improve, will make us proud.