CHIANG RAI – Chiang Rai United yesterday claimed their first win of the season by beating Osotspa M-150 Saraburi 1-0 in the Thai Premier League at Saraburi Stadium.
A first half Jessada Puanakunmee own goal separated the sides as Chiang Rai United won 1-0.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty performance from the Fighting Beetles, but Stefano Cuggura won’t be caring as his side grabbed their first league victory of the season.
Chiang Rai’s Thanongsak was the first keeper to be called into action on 12 minutes when he had to get down quickly to tip a Anthony Komenan shot around the post. From the resultant corner, Komenan’s angled header flew inches over the bar.
The former BEC Tero keeper then had to throw his body in front of a low Narong free kick from the left midway through the first half.
In the other goal, Chatchai had been a virtual spectator in the opening stages, yet he was picking the ball out of his net on 28 minutes. A through ball from Nantawat was being chased down by Leandro Assumpcao and Jessada. In a panic, Jetsada’s bid to clear saw him chip the ball over the unsuspecting Chatchai for Chiang Rai to take the lead against the run of play.
A minute before the break, a free header from Komenan was knocked around the post by the CRU keeper as the guests took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The M-Power came out in the second half chasing an equalizer but the quality of their final ball into the box was lacking. Chiang Rai Utd were quite happy to sit back and attack on the counter.
On 69 minutes, Uilian had a great chance to double Chiang Rai’s lead. The Brazilian was through on goal but he weakly side footed his effort straight into Chatchai’s body.
Shortly afterwards, the home fans frustration boiled over as they started throwing missiles onto the pitch after a touchline clash involving home favorite Panuwat and the villain of the piece, Nantawat.
Chiang Rai defended resolutely to see the game out for a 2-1 win although if truth being told, the Osotspa attack would have struggled to burst their way out of a wet chip poke.
The win moves Chiang Rai onto eight points which is only one behind Osotspa. The Saraburi club’s poor run of results is slowly sucking them into an unexpected relegation battle.
Man of the Match: Tanongsak Panpipat – His early saves kept CRU in the contest