Thursday, 9 June 2011

Muangthong United 3 Insee Police United 1 - report

Miroslav shares his thoughts

It was just before nine o'clock on a hot, humid Wednesday night in Nonthaburi and our undefeated home league streak was in serious, serious jeopardy. Our team of Kawin, Kayem, Zesh, Nattaporn (C), Thiemba, Datsakorn, Pitchipong, Buntao, Pornsai, Christian and Teerasil got off to a good start, creating lots of space and lots of chances, but they all went astray. Granted, the absence of last season's top-scorer Dagno Siaka may have had a lot to do with that, but then again, Pornsai was relishing the game against his old club and spent most of the first half tearing down the left wing and firing in dangerous, low crosses.

But Police United were every bit the side I have described more than once before: not technically great, but extremely well drilled, well-prepared and physically and tactically tough to break down. The centre-midfielders dropped back for every MTU attack, creating a crowded area. Meanwhile the forwards stayed in their channels and pushed forward on every break, looking confident rather than hopeful, unlike most visitors to the Thunderdome.

So although the deficit was just one goal - a sharp cross and a close range finish for Police - and despite our excellent record of comebacks at home, I really thought this was it.

But Calisto is a smart tactician when it comes to substitutions. First to join the fray was Miroslav Toth, whose footwork created space for the other attacking players. Later introductions were Ahnon Sangsanoi and, surprisingly, Issofoau, whom report to be on his way out. Initially Issofoau looked similar to his other showings, working hard but struggling to make an impression with or without the ball. That would change before the final whistle.

After MTU finally found some space, allowing Teerasil to blast the ball past Police's very good goalkeeper for the equaliser, Issofoau created the second goal with an excellent cross from the left wing for Ahnon to finish. That settled the game, but Toth found time for another poacher's goal shortly before the end.

An excellent fightback and some fluid attacking football against a tough side give us reason to be optimistic. The fallout of Robson's resignation and whispers of yet more personnel changes at the Thunderdome, less so.

Man of the Match:
Jakkaphan Pornsai rose to the occasion against his old club and produced the display I've been hoping for for some time by doing what a winger should do - running down the wing, taking on your man if need be, then getting the crosses in fast and low. No rocket science required.

Blog news:
I'll shortly begin work on a site move for this 'ere blog. I hope it will improve both presentation and quality of the reader's experience. Any fans wishing to work with me in site work or content are most welcome. The new home will require a one-time, totally free, totally non-spam or any other nonsense registration. Stay tuned!

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