|Narrapol Arromsawa advances in the torrential rain|
Photo credit: v@lentine ณ เมืองทอง at mtufc.com
Muangthong moved into the next round of the Toyota Cup (to face Air Force United) but had a slightly tougher ride than expected as they drew 1-1 on the night and beat Samut Prakan 3-2 on aggregate.
The TPL champions rested nearly all regular first team players except Kone and Jetsada. Christian and Zaizen both played in the second half.
The game kicked off in front of a small crowd at the Thunderdome but fans who made the effort to attend were rewarded with some open attacking football from both sides. However, after Samut Prakan scored - around the twenty minute mark - the D2 side switched to a distinctly less admirable style of play. "Injuries" suddenly occurred every five minutes, tackles and tussles became more frequent and any form of time wasting was utilised. At half time it was 0-1.
In the second half the away players made a concentrated effort to antagonise Christian, who seems to have established a reputation as a talented but hot-headed player, and the sudden "injuries" continued to occur. One tussle threatened to erupt into a full scale brawl and there were several shoves to the face by Samut Prakan players. Shortly after, the Prakan coach stood up to abuse a Muangthong player. He quickly sat down when Rene approached him and offered to discuss the matter further.
Muangthong finally equalised (Abdoul) with about five minutes left. At the end of the game home fans applauded the visitors. I truly admire them for this as it preserves the friendly atmosphere of these matches. I can't always bring myself to applaud blatant cheats.
The three officials in this game were very poor. The referee appeared to be indecisive, weak-minded and scared to deal out any punishments. On most occasions he allowed the stretcher team on the pitch but even on occasions where he rightly waved 'play on', it seemed due to indecisiveness rather than any sense of fair play. Thai officials need further professional coaching to learn how to play their role in the development of Thai football. Otherwise these problems will continue.
Video of the goals here. If you can't view it due to restrictions, enjoy some professional quality photographs here and here.
Muangthong (1st half):
1. Phanpiphat (GK)
3. Pakasit (RB)
5. Jetsada (CB)
11. Piyachart (LB)
8. Kaewprom (Playing as CB?)
15. Abdoul (DM)
23. Buntao (MD)
20. Thummanam (MD)
18. Arromsawa (MD)
17. Ibrahim (FW)
22. Kone (AM/FW)