Paul's Malaysian cousin
Not much to report in today's build up. The IMPACT Arena had no scheduled event and the overall crowd today was lower than I'd hoped for. The only incident of note was the Panini swap meet outside our ticket office. As a large crowd of geeks, overgrown kids (like me) and of course lots and lots of kids with mum and dad looked on at the emcee proudly describing the free gifts and most popular stickers on offer, his t-shirt came screaming to my attention. Emblazoned across his chest in huge capital letters was the slogan: "SHUT THE F**k UP" , but without the censorship I just added. I never get bored of these 'only in Thailand' moments. I love 'em.
Perhaps the emcee was making a point to the Sisaket management, for once inside the stadium it was obvious they had been talking rubbish about their away support again. In my opinion, there was not even half of the two thousand fans they pledged. Why do the club executives keep spouting this rubbish? It just makes them look silly when it doesn't happen. However, what the fan club did bring was about 400-500 friendly, colourful and very loud fans. Credit to them.
Today's line up was: Kawin (GK), Kaewprom (RB), Jetsada (capt, CB,), Anupong (CB), Piyachart (LB), Pitchipong (MD), Siaka (MD), Datsakorn (MD), Kone (FW), Yaya (LW/anywhere), Teerasil (ST). It seems Rene opted for a more conventional line up after last week's disappointing show. It didn't need a genius to see Yaya would give us a boost.
Before our first goal, Teerasil missed a close range volley with most of the goal at his mercy. Shortly after, Yaya popped up from nowhere and slotted home from close range. It was a simple goal created from yet another square ball or low cross in the box. Sisaket's defence were caught in the same conundrum as so many other teams at the Thunderdome - when Yaya, Kone, Siaka and Teerasil are surging towards goal at the same time, how do you stop all of them? It was a riddle they couldn't figure out before full time.
Goal number two was my favourite. Someone - either Yaya or Siaka - caught yet another square ball into the box and played a sweet little back-heel for Kone to slot in from almost point blank range. 2-0.
The third goal was also a joy to watch. This time Teerasil received a through ball from further out and advanced towards the Sisaket 'keeper. I've mentioned Teerasil's calmness under pressure before and he showed it again today: instead of snapping the shot, he waited for the advancing goalie to commit. The goalie, to his credit, matched Teerasil's nerve and only half-committed. In response, Teerasil dummied a shot and sure enough, the goalie dove in, leaving the lanky striker with a simple lifted shot for the third goal. Half time 3-0. Sisaket players could hear the taxis outside revving their engines already.
The second half was more scrappy. With MTU forgivably easing off the pedal, the ref started getting agitation from Sisaket players and fans as they protested decisions against them. In response, the ref issued silly yellow cards to Piyachart and Siaka, but ignored a clear hauling down of the same Siaka in the Sisaket box. The visitors blazed a couple of shots well over before Datsakorn hit yet another long distance shot to make it 4-0. Datsakorn has his critics and most people have something to say about him, but nobody can deny his long range firepower.
With the game over, our defence become a little slack and the movement of Siaka to defensive midfield opened up the game for Sisaket to create several chances that Kawin did well to save. Rene responded by bringing on the "soon to be green" Moussa Sylla.
We weren't done. though. A through ball to none other than Jakkaphon Kaewprom allowed him to round the 'keeper and make it 5-0. I was preparing to take back all I'd said about Kaewprom, when, just two minutes later, he made a howling error in his own box that gifted a very clear chance to Sisaket that again was saved by Kawin.
The final goal came from Thummanam shortly before the end.
This game was as one sided as the score suggested, though it is only Kawin's acrobatics that prevented Sisaket from netting a couple of consolation goals as we became slack in the second half. Overall though, a fantastic attacking display, and with Chonburi's defeat it sets up a fantastic game next Sunday. I believe I'm right in saying it could be the first game to have a match report from both a home and away fan.
Man of the match:
Yes, I know it's predictable. Yes, I know we've said all we can say about him but sorry guys, the only MOM today was Yaya. It's no coincidence that last week we were poor and didn't hit the net and this week we netted six and created chances galore. Need I say more? The obvious question is how we will do the same after next week.