9th July 2023 - 19:00pm Thailand / 12:00pm GMT - BPL Div 2
Futera United overcame a talented RMUTR side in a breathless nine-goal thriller at the Aimphan Stadium. In an astonishing finish, Golf headed home deep into added time to give Futera a crucial three points in what had been a sensational game packed full of sublime play and controversy.
Once again, Futera seemed to be down to the bare bones after their squad had been ravaged by injuries, which meant full debuts for PSW Academy players Beam and Mark. Since their defeat to Futera earlier in the season, RMUTR had gone undefeated, scoring a plethora of goals, and arrived at the Aimphan Stadium brimming with confidence. The away team started brightly, moving the ball with purpose and intent, showcasing their technical prowess. The first real opening fell to Futera when a loose ball found Golf, but his tame effort was easily saved by the goalkeeper. RMUTR were rewarded for their positive start in the 6th minute when a deep cross from the left flank was cut back at the far post for their striker to fire home past a helpless Film.
Futera gradually wrestled back momentum, with young Beam on the left wing growing in confidence and posing a constant threat to the RMUTR defense. An equalizer arrived for the home team when, after excellent link-up play between Beam and Bew, the ball was played to Jew, whose thunderous drive from 30 yards deceived RMUTR and flew into the net, making the score 1-1.
Futera were now on the front foot and edged ahead when the outstanding Bew delivered a low cross that was tucked away by Golf. Futera had further chances to extend their lead: a mazy run and shot from Mai was blocked, and substitute CGame had two excellent opportunities that, with a bit more composure, he could have converted.
Despite being in control and pressing forward, Futera remained skeptical of swift counter-attacks from the pacey and technically gifted opposition. Failing to heed earlier warnings, Futera was caught out just after the half-hour mark when a delightful ball was played to the RMUTR striker, who held off Mark before firing a low drive beyond the outrushing Film. RMUTR were now in the ascendancy, and Futera was relieved to hear the halftime whistle blow with the scores level at 2-2.
Futera began the second half dominating possession, and with the introduction of Wud, who brought a wealth of experience, they forced RMUTR back. Futera regained the lead in the 47th minute when Wud latched onto a loose clearance to smash home a controlled half-volley into the bottom right-hand corner. With their tails up, Futera extended their lead when a pinpoint through ball from Save allowed PSW graduate Peem to race into the box before being taken down for a blatant penalty. Mark stepped up and coolly converted to give the home side a 4-2 lead, seemingly on course for victory.
To their credit, RMUTR never gave up and continued to play their neat football, looking for a way back into the game. They were given a lifeline in the final minute when Futera failed to clear and the ball fell to the RMUTR player, who volleyed home. With the fourth official indicating 5 minutes of extra time, Futera would be in for a nervy finish to a game they seemed to be in control of. In the 96th minute, Futera inexplicably surrendered possession from a free kick, and the away team swiftly countered. Skipper Jew’s innocuous challenge was adjudged by the referee to be serious foul play, and he was shown a red card. From the ensuing free kick, a wicked delivery wasn't cleared, and after a scramble, the RMUTR striker drilled home a well-struck volley into the bottom corner before celebrating wildly with his teammates. Futera kicked off with the clock approaching 100 minutes, and from a long ball, RMUTR conceded a needless free kick. Mark stepped up and produced a curling cross that Golf connected with at the far post to head home and make the final score 5-4, sending the Futera supporters into raptures. The crestfallen RMUTR, who had gone from elation to agony in barely a minute, kicked off, and the referee blew the final whistle on a pulsating match, with Futera securing an essential three points for their title challenge.
WOW!! What a game of football. First of all, credit to both teams who produced an absolute classic. I must admit, before the game, I was fearing the worst as RMUTR is an excellent side and, for me, the best team we have played this season, given Futera's somewhat depleted squad. An immense performance from Bew, who consistently delivers high-quality displays week in and week out. The two youngsters who started, Mark and Beam, were excellent, putting in performances that belied their youth. Beam is an exciting prospect with excellent technical abilities and sublime vision. Mark, at center back, put in an assured display, showing calmness and composure on the ball, and despite his young age, he never shies away from the physical challenge. Once again, Futera's never-say-die attitude was evident as they overcame a dubious refereeing decision to storm back and claim victory. With our youngsters growing in confidence, the future for Futera looks very promising.