(This report was typed on my faulty old work laptop. For once, typos may not be my fault).
A well deserved win for Sisaket finished MTU's treble dreams in a close match at the Thunderdome that left your blogger wondering if some MTU staff had walked under a ladder, tripped over a black cat and smashed a mirror in their fall.
We (MTU) played a reserve side that still performed well but was punished by some very questionable referee’s decisions and a well organised Sisaket defence.
In the first half MTU were awarded a penalty that was taken by Zaizen in the absence of Siaka. Shockingly, the calm Japanese midfielder blazed the ball well over the bar. The misfortune continued as Pakasit - who was putting in his best performance in a long time - went off injured. Later still, the ball of energy that was Ibrahim had an excellent finish disallowed for reasons that confound me. I saw the shoe of a Sisaket player come flying off the player’s foot seconds before the goal but nothing else unusual.
The writing was truly on the wall when Nawapol (I think) got his marching orders for bringing down a Sisaket player just inside the box. It was certainly a foul but the red was very harsh, the player was running diagonally away from goal and was caught in the very corner of the area.
The ten men of MTU pushed on in the second half but Sisaket scored shortly after, and then a plague of injuries struck away players, costing us time. Luckily none of the players seemed to be hurt for more than a few seconds after being stretchered off. The final goal came moments from the end.
Negatives of losing? Well it’s always painful of course, and we don't get a shot at redemption with Buriram. Positives? We get some rest, we lost to a spirited team with great fans, we don't have to go through the sickening shenanigans at the iMobile Stadium again and we can lay the new turf at the TD. So, overall, we can live with the loss, horrible as it was.
One final thought: today's weather was a cool, gentle breeze combined with a clear blue sky. Better conditions for football could not be designed and as a result the battered pitch almost looked healthy. Why, oh why, do we insist on playing the season during the monsoon's peak?
Man of the Match
Ibrahim, who never gave up and was practically taking on the entire Sisaket defence by himself in the last few minutes. He showed enormous potential in the process, too. His goal was class and very harshly disallowed.