Thursday, 5 January 2012

Army United 0-0 Chainat, Thai FA Cup Qtr Final

The Royal Thai Army Stadium is located in the middle class Din Daeng district of Bangkok; the stadium holds 20,000 and has a single stand with covered seating on one side and terracing on three sides. An athletics track surrounds the pitch.
From central Bangkok I got the Skytrain (BTS) to the Victory Monument. I had a choice of buses to the stadium from there (24, 69, 92). It is about 15-20 minutes to the stadium and the stadium is on Vipawadee - Rangsit road two minutes after the Veterans Hospital on the left hand side. The central section of the covered stand is 300 Baht and the wings 200 Baht. The terracing areas are 100 Baht. Presently there are 40 Baht to the pound.
I’ve been to the Army stadium on several occasions and like the Police and Airforce teams they have been poorly supported, but recently the local community has got behind Army United. The reason being the help the Army gave in the recent floods. Last season they were lucky to get a few hundred through the gates, but now they are getting support in the region of 6,000. Chainat finished in runners up spot in the First Division and will be playing Army United next season in the Premier League. The Town is 200 Km north of Bangkok and has a population of 15,000.
The game lasted only 5 minutes yesterday with the score at 0-0. It was abandoned due to a rain storm causing the pitch to waterlog. My son told me that on the local radio today and on the clubs website the club had announced a full refund on tickets and free entry for tonight’s game.

The home side opened the scoring in the 12th minute and the score remained the same until three minutes into the second half when Chainat found an equaliser. The score remained at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes and the game went into extra-time. There was no further score after extra-time and the game had to be decided by penalties. Only one of the ten penalties was not converted and unfortunately for Chainat it was theirs. So Army United progress to the semi-finals where they will play PEA Buriram at the neutral Rajamangala stadium on Saturday. For me its back to blighty on a Friday morning flight and hopefully I won't be too jet lagged to stop me seeing a game.

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