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Sunday 11th September 2022 - 19:30pm Thailand / 13:30pm BST / 12:30pm GMT - TDIC Cup Semi-final

After a week when Bangkok had seen the heaviest rain in twenty years and much of the city flooded, it was a miracle that this game was able to take place. Once again huge credit must go to Den and his staff for arranging this fixture. Our opponents in this Semi-final game would be Primera FC, who have become somewhat of a bitter rival and they were so desperate to beat us they had recruited a number of experienced players solely for this game.

Futera were let off the hook inside the first two minutes when hesitant defending from Poom and Tewit let in the Primera forward whose shot was well saved by Film. The game developed into a cagey affair with the game littered by fouls and misplaced passes. Futera fashioned their first opening on eleven minutes when Bank cut in from the left flank, ghosted past two defenders and unleashed a fierce strike that the Primera keeper parried away, agonizingly just out of Gael’s outstretched leg. Although Futera were seeing plenty of the ball chances were few and far between, an excellent run from Eak saw him cross and Gael got in front of his marker to glance a header narrowly wide.

WIth half time fast approaching, Primera took one of the worst foul throws you are likely to see anywhere, with everybody incredulous that the referee hadn’t blown up, a ball over the top caught the Futera defence napping and with two players clearly offside the Primera striker ran through to slot the ball home to give the visitors a 0-1 lead. Pandemonium followed as the Futera players and coaching staff remonstrated with the inept officials to no avail as the goal was given and Primera took a half team lead.

The second half kicked off and it became plainly obvious that Primera were happy to sit on their slender lead and sat very deep and packed the midfield. Futera dominated possession but continually tried to thread the ball through the congested central areas. Basil went close on two occasions with headers from deep crosses and as the clock ticked on, Futera became more frantic in their search for an equaliser. In the 72nd minute excellent work from Phu saw him spin and turn in the box and fire a low cross which found Kao at the far post who gleefully smashed home to make the score 1-1. Futera’s tails were up now and they swarmed forward and after neat play from Don, Art fired inches wide before a powerful header from Few was easily claimed by the Primera keeper.

With the thought of penalties looming a tense atmosphere descended on the stadium. In the 86th minute a deep cross was met by Art, whose mis-hit volley deceived the young Primera defender who handled the ball and a penalty was given. With regular penalty taker John off the pitch, Don stepped up to calmly send the keeper the wrong way and complete the turn around for Futera. Primera came storming back in the closing minutes sending their keeper forward for several set piece plays but Futera held firm and the final score finished 2-1.

After a tense semi-final, that was ruined as a spectacle in the first half by the incompetent referee, Futera now progress to the final where they will meet Hua Samrong FC. Although certainly not one of Futera’s best performances, to reach a final in our first season is an incredible feat and the double is still on. Kao put in an heroic performance, holding the ball up and constantly harassing the back four, he thoroughly deserved his goal and M’s experience was invaluable in a rousing second half performance. Another huge week for Futera as we will be in the draw for the Chang FA Cup on the 14th September and next Sunday we face undefeated JB Academy in a title shootout.

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