Sunday, June 07, 2009


Chula United v Chonburi 1-1

If the residents of central Bangkok were troubled by a bad smell around late afternoon on Saturday, it must have been the stink created by the first half of this match. It was a shocker!!

Chula are a poor, poor team and, on this occasion, Chonburi were worse. The visitors started nervously, suggesting that the 5 goal battering they suffered last week had done more than just damage their goal difference. Confidence looked in short supply as passes went astray, players were constantly caught in possession and nobody could control the ball.

This, coupled with an incompetent home team, produced the worst 45 minutes I've seen in 12 years of watching Thai football. It was so bad that a girl on the row in front of me spent most of her time reading a book and I was wishing that I hadn't left my copy of The Kenneth Williams Diaries on the bus (a great read, by the way).

The only thing that really held my interest was the chubbiness of the home team's number 16. Now, I admit that I'm carrying a few extra pounds but this lad looked more like a darts player than a professional footballer.

I don't know if Zico is in the habit of throwing tea cups or has perfected the hairdryer treatment but Chonburi came out for the second period looking a lot more purposeful. The players were on the pitch lined up a good five minutes before their hosts appeared for the re-start.

With Adul, a late first half substitute, pulling the strings (why wasn't he on from the start?!!) Chonburi took a grip of the game. Even though they were still far from their best they dominated the second period. I haven't been able to turn my neck to the right for the last 18 hours as it was permanently locked to the left between 5:00pm and 6:00pm yesterday.

The Sharks thought they had the equaliser when the ball was nodded in from a right wing corner but the linesman's flag was up and the effort was ruled out for either a Chonburi player's sock being rolled down or the official was merely waving at a friend on the far side. In spite of this set back the Sharks kept pressing and deservedly scored the goal which brought them level. Kone netting from close range.

It looked certain that Chonburi would go on and win it from here, with the coach throwing on strikers Anderson and debut boy Da Silva, but Chula held out for a valuable point. They even managed to have a shot!! When the final whistle blew I comforted myself by reflecting that Chonburi can't play any worse than this and that Chula probably can't play any better. A small crumb of comfort.

Thanks to Sri Racha Shark for this match report

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