‘Lanna Tigers’ fans get into party mood at the 700-Year Stadium, Chiang
Having secured the divisional title the previous
weekend against Chiang Rai FC, there was an almost party atmosphere
inside the 700 Year Stadium to greet the ‘Lanna Tigers’ of Chiang Mai on
Saturday, Sept. 18 for their final match of the current regular season
against Lampang FC.
The festive spirit amongst the throngs of Chiang Mai
supporters seemed to transfer itself to their team as it was Lampang who
enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges in the first half and Francis
came close to scoring for the visitor after just 2 minutes, but his shot
was well saved by Phansa in the Chiang Mai goal.
Chiang Mai FC (blue shirts) move the ball downfield during the second
half of their match against Lampang FC, Saturday, Sept. 18.
Gradually the ‘Tigers’ began to get a footing in the
game and on the quarter hour mark Bratte saw his powerful 30 yard strike
parried onto the crossbar by Lampang goalie Ornkham.
Five minutes later Apichai had another long range
effort for the ‘Tigers’ but once more Ornkham was up to the task of
keeping the ball out.
After 30 minutes Chiang Mai had another good attack
that was brought to an abrupt end when Apichai was fouled on the edge of
the Lampang penalty area. It was a situation tailor made for Anucha
Chaiyawong and the star man for Chiang Mai this season didn’t disappoint
as he stepped up to send a curling free kick over the wall and into the
back of the Lampang net for his 12th goal of the
The remainder of the first half was played out
without any further clear chances at either end and the “Tigers’ went
into the break one goal to the good.
At half time Chiang Mai replaced goalkeeper Phansa
with Theerasak Kawichai and they came out for the second period in
determined mood to increase their lead.
On 50 minutes, Apichai sent over an inviting cross
from the right wing but Natthapong miscontrolled the ball and sent his
effort wide of the goal. Another good chance fell to Panuwat in the 63rd
minute following more good work from Apichai, but the ‘Tigers’ No 10
headed over the crossbar with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
The home team had a late scare in the 75th
minute when Lampang midfielder Pattamin Jakeeb beat the Chiang Mai
offside trap and appeared certain to score as he bore down on goal, but
Theerasak pulled off an outstanding save to keep the ‘Tigers’ in front.
The hosts were able to play ‘keep-ball’ for the
remaining minutes of the match and the final whistle sounded to end was
has been a tremendous regular season for Chiang Mai FC.
As the supporters in the stadium began to crank up
the volume, Sombat Kuruphan, the Director-General of the Physical
Education Department in Chiang Mai presented the league champions trophy
to Chiang Mai FC club Chairman, Dr. Udornphan Chantaraviroj and the
victorious ‘Lanna Tigers’ team.
For Chiang Mai the season isn’t quite over yet
however as on October 16 they will enter the end of season play-off
matches to find out which teams will be promoted to the Thai National
League Division 1. Keep checking the Chiang Mai Mail for full
results of their progress.
Division 2 (North) Standings Sept. 19
(Top five teams shown only)
Team P W D L
Chiang Mai FC 30 26 1 3
Chainart FC 30 22 5 3
Pichit FC 30 19 6 5
Singburi FC 30 13 10 7
30 12 12 6 48 +12
The Chiang Mai FC players and staff celebrate as they hold up the
Division 2 Northern Region championship trophy.