The day before yesterday me and a friend attended our first live football match i the Toyota Thai League. A local derby between last seasons runners-up Bangkok United and newly promoted Port FC. We saw a different arrangement than we’re used to from back home, there didn’t seem to be any kiosks inside the stadium but rather one, open-air market like area offering street-food and (non-alcoholic) beverages, as well a barber, should one like to commemorate the occasion with a haircut. Admission was 100 baht/person and with 25000 seats available, but only about 3000 spectators at True Stadium (Thammasat Rangsit University), tickets were plenty to come by on-site.
Despite kick-off taking place at 8PM, temperature was 30 degrees Celsius and this may have contributed to the tempo being low throughout the match.
The guests looked the better side at the start but the home-side found their footing and took over the match after getting ahead from a penalty awarded after 21 minutes. Another penalty shot and an additional goal put the hosts 3 ahead only 11 minutes later and suddenly it looked like an extremely one-sided affair. Luckily, Port woke back up and Siwakorn Jakkuprasat breathed life back into the game with a beautifully curled effort to the top corner from 20+ metres out. 7 minutes before the break it was the gem of the evening.
In the second half we were no worse off. 17 minutes in, Thailand international Teeratep Winothai completed his hattrick (after converting twice from the spot in the first half). Port got one back again but in their hunt for additional goals they left the way open for Teeratep to become the league’s top scorer with his fourth of both match and season. Before the final whistle, United even found time for a final goal to make it 6-2.
As far as football goes, it wasn’t a huge treat. Although both sides displayed some attacking prowess and individual skill, it was helped by them lacking both interest in, and the organisation needed to defend very well. 8 goals and two small claques displaying just as positive attitudes as the teams, in combination with the nice setup outside the stadium, still made it a very enjoyable experience.
Being a Swede, I’m accustomed to top-flite matches lacking top-quality, being from Stockholm I’m accustomed to a football derby being a sold-out and passionate occasion. In one aspect, I felt right at home.