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‘Tigers’ roar back to the top of the league

Warachart takes top honours in final round of Chiang Mai Golf Festival

Brazil, beauty and beast, exits World Cup

‘Tigers’ roar back to the top of the league

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

Chiang Mai took over at the top of the Thai League Division 2 Northern region standings on Sunday, June 27 with a resounding 4-0 victory at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium over the “Fire Bats’ of Sukhothai FC.

The ‘Tigers’ controlled much of the game in the first period and were unlucky not to take the lead when Benjamin Musa shot just wide from a good position. The home side eventually broke the deadlock just before half time through a wonder strike from wing back Ekkalak Thongkrit, who unleashed a thunderbolt left foot shot from fully 30 yards out that flew into the top corner of the net past the bewildered Sukhothai goalkeeper.

Chiang Mai FC’s Thongkrit (6) and Laktan (11) vie for the ball with Sukhothai defenders during the match at the 700-year Stadium in Chiang Mai, Sunday, June 27.

Despite dominating possession for much of the second half, Chaing Mai had to wait until the 70th minute to double their lead when Anucha Chaiyawong got on the end of a corner kick and sent a looping header over the goalkeeper and defenders into the back of the net.

Five minutes before full time the ‘Tigers’ finally put the game to bed with Chaiyawong notching his second and the team’s third goal. A shot was blocked on the edge of the Sukhothai area but the ball fell kindly to the Chiang Mai striker who calmly rounded the keeper and tapped the ball home to put the game out of reach of the visitors.

There was still just enough time left before the final whistle for Chaiyawong to grab his hat trick with the easiest of finishes from 2 yards out after Wasuvat Laktan’s initial strike had been charged down by a Sukhothai defender.

With the three points in the bag the “Tigers’ soared to the top of the league standings following Chainat FC’s shock home defeat by Nakhon Sawan. Third placed Pichit also slipped up with a 2-2 draw against Phetchabun, which leaves them trailing Chiang Mai by four points.

The win over Sukhothai also gave Chiang Mai their third consecutive victory since the second half of the season got underway and they would hope to have made it four out of four this past Sunday, away against second bottom club Tak FC. A full report of this game will be in next week’s Chiang Mai mail. The ‘Tigers’ next fixture is on Saturday, July 10, with an away trip to Singburi FC.

A crowd of 5,000 turned up to cheer the Tigers to victory.

Warachart takes top honours in final round of Chiang Mai Golf Festival

Sarawut Sae Tieo, 3rd left standing, president of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, presents prizes to the winners of the Chiang Mai Golf Festival 2010 final round at the Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Course in Chormthong district, Saturday, June 26.

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

The Chiang Mai Golf Festival 2010 drew to a close on Saturday June 26 with the ninth and final round being played out at the scenic Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Course & Resort.

The winner of the overall low gross award on the day was khun Warachart with a fine round of 72 playing off a handicap of 9.

In the A Flight, the low gross honours went to khun Phetae (gross 80) of the TAT Tak 3 team, with Tattapong Thaweeprasart picking up the low net prize (net 73).

The B Flight saw khun A on top of the leaderboard with a gross 79 off a 12 handicap while the net honours fell to Somchai Maichandeng (net 70) ahead of Worakorn Tong-orn.

In the C Flight khun Boonruang claimed the plaudits with a loss gross winning score of 83 and Sathit Pinijsorn was the best of the rest as he picked up the low net prize with a round of net 68.

Finally in the Ladies Flight, Kornhathai Ratchatakul proved to be the master of the greens as she recorded a score of 87 off the stick to take low gross honours and khun Morakot came home with the low net score of 64 off her 24 handicap.

Assist. Prof. Kerdsiri Thongsiri, Chairman of the Business Administration project for golf management at Ramkamhaeng University presided over the presentation ceremony and, following the distribution of the medals to the day’s winners, he also presented golf equipment to be distributed to schools and young golfers in the Chiang Mai area who have a passion for the game but who cannot afford the necessary equipment.

Finally a draw for a scholarship worth 250,000 baht to study for a BA in golf management at Ramkamhaeng University was made and the lucky recipient of this prize was Methee Kosum.

The Chiang Mai Golf Festival 2010 has proven to be a great success for both the region’s golfers and the various golf venues involved in the competition and organizers will be hoping to attract even more budding players to the game for the 2011 edition.

Sayan Chuajedtin, left, the executive of Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Course & Resort, Assist Prof Kerdsiri Thongsiri, 2nd left, from Ramkamhaeng University, Sarawut Sa Tieo from the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, 3rd left, and Somchai Maichandaeng, right, director of the Chiang Mai Tourism and Sports Office, jointly present the bachelor degree scholarship worth 250,000 baht to Methee Kosum, standing center.

Brazil, beauty and beast, exits World Cup

John Leicester

Johannesburg (AP) - The World Cup was treated to its final, just two games too early. For drama and intensity, the spectacle of the Netherlands stunning and bullying Brazil will be hard to outdo at this tournament.

The five-time champions are such footballing giants that there is always an earthquake-like thump when they are brought to their knees. Yet, this time, their 2-1 loss didn’t feel like a massive shock.

Kaka and his amigos mistakenly thought they could lift the heavy gold statue without showing up in South Africa with the beautiful game that made Pele and his teammates world-famous.

Coach Dunga gambled that merely winning would be enough to assuage the critics on the beaches and farms, in the cities and shantytowns back home who worried that Brazil’s traditions of entertaining, dancing football were being betrayed.

Dunga was right. Had Brazil won, the manner of it wouldn’t have mattered. But losing wasn’t part of the deal. In the end, the manner of Brazil’s play was far more important than Dunga made out. In kidding themselves that efficient, often unglamorous, percentage football would take them to the July 11 showpiece match, the Brazilians forgot to light up and really spark in South Africa. They were definitely good but not Brazilian brilliant, and that was their undoing. They let Argentina claim the crown as kings of attacking, inventive football.

Dunga blamed a poor second-half against the Dutch. But that was only half the story.

In five World Cup games, Brazilian beauty came only in flashes and it wasn’t enough. Maicon’s oooh-aaah! strike in the first match against the North Koreans, squeezed between the ‘keeper and his post from the tightest of angles, was, in fact, a mirage, because it misleading suggested that Brazil would be both flashy and victorious. With hindsight, the 55 minutes it took Brazil to break open the Korean defense should have set alarm bells ringing.

Luis Fabiano’s illegally handled second goal took some of the shine off Brazil’s 3-1 defeat of Ivory Coast. A goalless draw with Portugal was not only boring but again showed that Brazil couldn’t call up goals at will. Only half an hour into the round of 16 elimination game against Chile did Brazil finally turn it on.

Never mind, we told ourselves, this is Brazil. They’ll find a higher gear when they need it.

Well, they needed it against the Netherlands. But instead, they lost their heads. Turns out that Brazilians get hot, bothered and lose their focus when niggled by the likes of Mark van Bommel, who was a real bully in the Dutch midfield, and Arjen Robben, who did not score but made a real pest of himself with his light-footed runs.

A turning point was Felipe Melo’s stupid hot-headed stamp on Robben’s thigh. It got him sent off with 20 minutes left, scuttling Brazil’s chances of recovering from their 2-1 goal deficit.

Also vital was Maarten Stekelenburg’s astounding save of Kaka’s shot on 31 minutes. Had it gone in, it would have been curtains for the Netherlands, giving Brazil a 2-0 lead.

The lead-up - Robinho wriggling past two defenders, passing to Luis Fabiano, his subsequent backheel to Kaka - was the most delightful piece of Brazilian play at this World Cup. Had Brazil done that more often, Brazil would still be here, not making excuses.

“I just called home and my son was crying,” Felipe Melo said after the match. “I have to apologize.”

But the fault was collective not individual. And it didn’t help Brazil that Kaka was not at his best in South Africa. Like other stars of world football - think Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney or Samuel Eto’o - he failed to live up to his billing.