League Cup Semi final played at Supachalasai Stadium
FT Chang Rai United 1 NRFC 1
Chiang Rai United beat Nakhon Ratchasima 3-1 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw at the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok.
Chiang Rai started brightly and had the first effort on goal in the sixth minute when Phititwat struck his drive wide from 20 yards. After continual pressure, the Beetles opened the scoring five minutes later when Chaiyawat fired in.
In a half completely dominated by Chang Rai whose movement off the ball and slick passing left the Swatcats players chasing shadows, the men from Korat were lucky to go into the half only one down.
The phrase “the team did not turn up tonight” might have been ascribed to the Swatcats in the first half and at half time, it was difficult to see away back for the men in orange.
The second half commenced with a more determined approach from the Swatcats and they began to exert pressure on the Chang Rai defence. In the 49th minute Kunath went close with a clever header after a chipped pass from Pina. Chang Rai then countered and Siwakorn smashed in from 12 yards but the keeper managed to beat his drive away.
In the 68th minute a vicious Pina free kick was headed off the line as the Swatcats searched for an equalizer. With time running out, the Swatcats continued to dominate and their dominance was rewarded when they won a penalty in the 72ndminute. Thanasak brought down Leandro and the Brazilian took the kick himself, firing low into the corner to level the score.
On 78 minutes Swatcat elation was turned to despair when, with Chiang Rai fading, Jakkit slotted home at the far post but the flag was up for offside.
Full time ended with the Swatcats looking the stronger of the two teams although Sivacorn had a chance to win the tie in the dying minutes with his rasping drive going narrowly wide.
A largely uneventful first period of extra time was followed by a second period in which the Swatcats had their chances to seal the tie. Assumpcao prodded over from 6 yards out and then the striker had a real chance to win it when he swiveled but his shot went straight into the keeper’s arms.
The tie then went to penalties and misses from Shahrel, Jakkit and Chanatphon sealed the tie for Chang Rai.