Nonthaburi took the lead about ten minutes into the second half from a close range volley by Prasop that the home goalie couldn’t hold on to. By now the ref was starting to look nervous and many innocuous incidents turned into free kicks or other advantages for the home side. As CC piled on the pressure under the still pouring rain, a breakaway Eka attack resulted in a free kick that was curled in towards Korawaut, completely missed by the striker and glided into the net! CC didn’t lay back and the nervous officiating continued, while a challenge on Jelani Grant that was so high it almost took his ear off went unpunished. In injury time, CC scored a low, curled shot and somehow during the celebrations, Eka’s goalscorer Prasop was given a red card. A scuffle ensued and Eka staff stepped over the touchline to join in the yelling.
The game ended shortly after but as CC players came to greet the away fans, a very small number of Eka fans - who had seemed somewhat overzealous and abusive for most of the game - continued to yell “chi-gong” at the home players. It seemed to die down as the rest of the away support clapped the home players off but then trouble flared.
I missed the flashpoint but I’m told that one CC player threw a water bottle at away fans - though not with real force - and as Eka fans bawled at him, he gave the middle finger. He also refused to walk into the tunnel and continued to stand and stare (though not gesture or yell) at the away fans as they struggled to get to him. Eventually the situation was calmed down by fellow fans and club staff, no thanks to the player who acted so unprofessionally and should have been big enough to just walk away.
It was a shame to see a small number of fans, home players and coaching staff setting bad examples, but I think it will be an isolated incident and it musn’t distract from three excellent away points, another good show of teamwork and a real effort by both sides to play football under very difficult decisions. Great work lads, can’t wait for the next game.
Man of the Match: Sathit, Nonthaburi’s answer to Teeerasil Dangda. He’s one of a bunch of Eka players who could hold his own at a higher level.
All photo credits: Getidea Ka
|Sathit outflanks his marker down the left wing.|
|Defending a free kick.|
|The players 'planked' after both goals. I'd prefer a pubpeab!|
|Eka staff approach the ref at full time.|
|Away support, noisy for the whole game!|