Chiangrai United won the Thai FA Cup following a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Bangkok United in Saturday’s final at the Supachalasai Stadium.
It was Bangkok who drew first blood after just six minutes when they hit their opponents with a scintillating counterattack initiated by goalkeeper Kittipong Phuthawchueak.
Running onto his long throw, Ekkachai Sumrei then played a searching diagonal pass to Mario Gjurovski, who in turn played it into the box to leave Pokklaw Anan with a simple finish.
Nonetheless, five minutes before the half-hour mark, the Beetles pulled level after Brazilian centre-back Everton had ventured forward and met Vander Luiz’s left-wing delivery with a glancing header into the back of the net.
Chiangrai then took the lead in the 58th minute courtesy of substitute Rafael Coelho, who reacted quickest to score after Vander Luiz’s initial effort had been spilled by Kittipong.
15 minutes later, it was Bangkok’s turn to find the equaliser when Ekkachai produced an excellent run and cross down the right to pick out Mario Gjurovski.
Although the ex-Macedonia international’s header came back off the post, Jaycee John was on hand to pounce on the rebound and poke home from close range.
Full Time Chiangrai United 4-2 Bangkok United. BUFC lost in the final game of 2017 Chang FA Cup. pic.twitter.com/jHUg7NsXSW
— Bangkok United FC (@BUFCofficial) November 25, 2017
At this stage, it looked as though the momentum was in favour of Bangkok and they would go on to gain the ascendancy.
But, in the 81st minute, it was Chiangrai who regained the lead when Vander got in behind the opposition defence and held off the challenge of Anthony Ampaipitakwong, before nodding the ball past the onrushing Kittipong to finish into the unguarded net.
And, deep into injury-time, Vander secured the win when he converted from the penalty spot, having been brought down inside the area Ekkachai Sumrei as he was racing through on goal.
It proved to be a case of redemption for Chiangrai as they won the first major piece of silverware in their history, just three days after losing to Muangthong United in the League Cup final.
Photo credit: Bangkok United FC