Sunday 17th September 2023 - 18:00pm Thailand / 11:00am GMT - BPL Div 2
Goal came off the bench to secure a much-needed three points for Futera United in a hard-fought victory over a stubborn Yingcharoen. In the midst of the rainy season, Futera made the journey, ironically to the Gov Irrigation Dept, for a game they were expected to win comfortably.
The game kicked off under gloomy floodlights, and Futera immediately took the front foot, dominating possession and probing for openings against a Yingcharoen side who were clearly intent on playing very deep and hoping for a draw. With the home side unable to get out of their own half, Futera moved the ball from flank to flank but struggled to break down a well-drilled Yingcharoen defence. Time and time again, Futera's final ball was over-hit, and it seemed their young side had left their shooting boots at home as every shot seemed to sail high and wide. With half-time approaching, Phu fired in a vicious left-footed strike from distance that cannoned off the base of the post, but the half-time whistle blew with the sides even, and Futera pondered how they could dominate without scoring.
Yingcharoen kicked off the second half with a more positive mindset, and Futera failed to adjust, losing possession with misplaced passes. In the 55th minute, the introduction of Goal, who had been dropped to the bench due to his recent performances, and new signing Tun, changed the course of the game. Immediately, Tun's direct running caused problems for the Yingcharoen defence, and Futera went close with Goal's looping header brushing the top of the crossbar.
The two substitutes linked up to finally break the deadlock in the 65th minute when Tun's neat cut-back was swept home with devastating effect by Goal. A palpable sigh of relief was felt around the ground as Futera had finally managed to get their noses in front, but this lasted barely five minutes before Yingcharoen were back on level terms.
Careless play by Futera's defence let in Yingcharoen's striker down the left flank, and his inch-perfect cross was fired home by the onrushing midfielder, whose shot beat Film at his near post for a soft equalizer. Futera picked themselves up from this disappointment and showed real character to take the lead once again. Phu's devilish in-swinging free kick caused panic in the Yingcharoen penalty area, resulting in their centre sticking an arm out to deflect a goal-bound effort. A penalty kick was awarded, and Bew duly converted, tucking it away into the bottom right corner despite a valiant effort from the Yingcharoen keeper. This deflated Yingcharoen's hopes of causing an upset, and the outstanding Goal completed his brace in the final minutes, racing onto a through ball. He danced around the keeper before sliding home to make the final score 3-1 in favour of Futera.
It was a somewhat ponderous victory for Futera, who, despite totally dominating the first half, seemed devoid of any creative ideas against a side that had no real intention of winning the game. Goal showed tremendous attitude by responding to being dropped to the bench with a man of the match performance. Tun, on the right wing, played a pivotal role in the victory with his direct approach, and I feel his quality and experience will help our younger players blossom. Another victory keeps the title chase alive, with plenty still to play for this season, including the excitement of the FA Cup next month.