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Wed 5th October 2022 - 15:30pm Thailand / 9:30am BST / 8:30am GMT - CHANG FA CUP

Another historic milestone in Futera United’s debut season saw them compete in Thailand’s premier cup competition as they faced off against The Zero FC in the Chang FA Cup 1st round. The venue for this prestigious fixture would be the impressive KMITL stadium, but unfortunately due to torrential rain in Bangkok the pitch resembled a quagmire.

Futera kicked off and was immediately on the front foot with Phu, playing in a centre forward role, able to get in behind the Zero defence and fire in a low cross that Kao was inches away from connecting with. Kao and Bank on the flanks were causing the Zero’s defence numerous problems and it looked as though a goal was imminent, however this failed to materialise and as Zero grew into the game Futera’s play began to become rather scrappy, giving the ball away far too cheaply.

With both teams struggling to find any cohesion, on a worsening surface, Futera finally made the breakthrough in the 40th minute. After what looked like a stonewall penalty for Zero, when John mistimed his tackle, Futera swiftly broke and a sublime, perfectly weighted through ball from Phu found Kao who calmly slotted home to give the visitors the lead. Minutes later another swift attack saw Bank’s shot parried by the Zero keeper, who reacted well to keep out Kao’s follow up. The half time whistle blew with Futera holding a slender 1-0 lead.

The second half saw Nu replace Eak at left back and Futera were quickly on the front foot and extended their lead inside 5 minutes when a delightful ball from Jew, with the outside of his foot was expertly tucked away by the impressive Phu. The Zero stormed back and rattled the Futera crossbar and grazed a post, showing they were far from beaten. In the 65th minute a Kao cross caused confusion in the Zero penalty area and when the ball dropped to Save on the edge of the box the youngster volleyed home to make the score 3-0. Minutes later a fierce drive from Kao nestled into the bottom corner of the net to effectively kill off the Zero challenge.

With both teams tiring on the heavy pitch the game became stretched and at times resembled a basketball game with the ball pinging from end to end. Kao completed a well deserved hat-trick in the 75th minute when Phu, after turning the homeside’s defence inside out, fired in a stinging shot that the impressive Zero keeper could only parry into the path of our tireless wingman who finished with ease. With the final whistle approaching poor play by the Futera midfield saw a misplaced pass pounced on by the Zero number 4 who strode into the box to shoot past Film to make the final score 1-5 to Futera United.

Not Futera’s greatest performance, with a number of players not at their best, but it must be pointed out that the pitch was a significant factor in a somewhat sloppy performance. Our front three of Bank, Phu and Kao were phenomenal and not only showed a high level of skill but also were prepared to work tirelessly for the team, tracking back and closing down the opposition. To be in the draw for the next round and the potential to be faced against one of Thailand’s elite clubs is absolutely incredible for Futera United who were only formed early this year. Back to the BPL this weekend with another huge fixture against Hua Samrong; exciting times lay ahead for this talented group of players and who knows what they can achieve if they stick together.

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