|1||Prasit Padungchoke (0)|
|2||Nuttakorn Budnonsang (0)|
|3||Surat Khaklang (0)|
|4||Etoundi Claude Pie (0)|
|5||Phossawee Kiatkangwankul (0)|
|6||Kitti Soraro (0)|
|7||Kongnatee Boonma (0)|
|8||Pakpoom Manaying (0)|
|9||Prompong Kransumrong (0)|
|10||Bani Abeiku (0)|
|11||Jagkree Burapha (0)|
|12||Pratheep Supapong (0)|
|13||Jiranawut Thiprod (0)|
|14||Weerawat Phonchiangkwang (0)|
|NAKHON RATCHASIMA F.C.||3|
Coach Thewet again employed his now familiar modified 5-4-1 in which Etoundi plays between the central defence and central midfield. Chakrii Burapha made his debut for Korat in right midfield and, of course, Prompong Kransumrong played as the sole striker supported by Kongnatee Boonma and Bani Abeicku.
Udon came into the game in good form, but based on this performance it was difficult to understand how the same team recently picked up wins over Chaiyaphum and Nong Khai, and took a point off Loei. Udon looked slow, unmotivated and unimaginative. It was no surprise then when Korat took the lead. Just nine minutes in, the ball fell to Prompong between 20 and 25 yards out. Without hesitation he curled the ball to the keeper's right and found the net to reignite his career and renew his relationship with the Korat fans. After the net bulged he made a beeline for the main stand, stood still in front of the cheering thousands and gently waiied his people. A class celebration from a class player.
Korat fairly dominated the match from here on in. Udon showed almost nothing in attack until second half injury-time. Korat weren't in top gear by any means, but they were always in total control and the result never looked in doubt once Prompong's opener had hit the back of the net. Etoundi headed over from a good position in the 27th minute: Korat's best 'non-Prompong' chance of the first half. Shortly before the break, Prompong wormed his way into the area and ended up on the floor apparently after a tug. Certainly, the Udon players didn't complain about the referee's instant decision to award a penalty. Prompong, of course, stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake from the spot to hand his side a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break.
Pratheep replaced Bani in the 54th minute, and just two minutes later 'Tee' was crudely hacked down by an Udon defender. Said defender was already on a yellow card. He duly received his second and left the field without complaint. Pratheep should have found the net on the hour mark as Promphong, after a dashing run on the left – he's still so quick – squared the ball to Tee who managed to put the ball wide with the goal at his mercy from about ten-yards out. An awful miss but, to be fair, Korat's super-sub number nine doesn't miss many, and the error wasn't to prove costly.
Prompong made a similar run down the left two minutes after Pratheep's miss. But this time he held onto the ball and let fly himself from just inside the area. The ball soared past the keeper and into the top-right-hand corner. A hat-trick in his comeback match, and two of the three goals were stunners: Do believe the hype! In the 70th minute Prompong was brought down by the keeper as he again cut in from the left after a flying run. The referee, perhaps taking pity on a hopeless Udon side, only showed a yellow. Many would have given a red, but perhaps it wasn't a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Korat, easing to victory, were happy to just sit back and roll it around. As such, Udon started to get forward a little themselves, but without ever looking truly dangerous. In the 76th minute, the Udon number 23 rattled the bar with a well-taken free-kick from the corner of the box.
Korat made their third and final substitution in the 81st minute when Weerawat came on for Kongnatee (Jiranawut had replaced Pakpoom on 67). This is noteworthy only because defender Phossawee was stretchered off and immediatey taken to hospital six minutes from time after a nasty clash of heads with fellow centre back Kitti. From our vantage point it looked as though he may have sustained a broken nose. As such Korat had to play out the final few minutes with ten men. Had Phossawee still been on the field then Udon probably wouldn't have scored their consolation goal deep into injury-time. Nuttakorn unnecessarily conceded a corner in the fourth minute of time-added-on, and a simple unmarked header – Udon's first effort on target – gave the visitors an undeserved goal.
A straight-forward win for Korat against probably the worst team seen at the 80th Birthday Stadium this season. Indeed, if the Udon team were a boxer, they would have had their purse withheld. A nice way for Korat to ease back into league action but tougher opponents – starting with Kalasin away next week – are on the horizon
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