Bangkok Veterans League Season #3, Event #5 — Watching "TH -vs- AU" Match in Asian Cup 2007 — 16/Jul/2007 • Rajamangkala Stadium
Vets make the trip to watch
Thailand -vs- Australia match
in Asian Cup 2007
In Jul/2007, we were able to convince a few dedicated football buffs from the Vets League to make the usually arduous trip to Bangkok's Rajamangkala Stadium to witness Asian Cup 2007's crucial Group-A clash between Thailand -vs- Australia.
You see, the way the traffic works in Bangkok's evening rush-hours leaves much to be discussed. However, thanks to the ingenuity of Derek the Frog, the Vets were ready to make the plunge and take the Klong Saan Saeb boat-ride from Soi Nana to all the way to Ramkamhaeng Road.
Getting more than a dozen of us in the group into the boat was a humongous coordination and synchronization act to begin with! And, the rest, I leave it to your imagination by reviewing some of the pictures below.
Once we were able to disembark (as a whole group!) at the Ramkamhaeng pier, we thought the hard part was over. But of course, not!!! In the drizzling rain, walking among thousands of other dedicated fans, was the easy part. The real hard part was, after all this trouble, whether we were going to be able to get to see the match.
But, thanks to the street-smarts of Derek the Frog, together with Joe, they were able to acquire a few "under the table" tickets for us to enjoy the rest of the night.
Of course, finding the tickets took a bit of time, and not to mention the Empire State Building-like stairs we had to climb all the way to the 3rd level of this magnificent stadium, we were about 15 min late to get to our seats.
However, as we were unfolding the seats to get ourselves comfortable, we heard a big sigh of disappointment (with a faint cheering of fans from some quarters), as we saw Australia score their opening goal.
This was a very important goal for the Aussies, because in order to advance to the QFs, they absolutely needed a win, because just a simple draw was plenty enough for the Thais. Asian Cup's rules on equal points in the group takes the result of the head-to-head match as the top criteria to decide the higher ranking team. So, although, with this win, Thailand and Australia would have the equal number of points, it was going to be Australia advancing to the QFs at the end of the match.
The Vets kept on cheering for Thailand during the rest of the 1st Half, but all we saw was Thailand successfully and skillfully bringing the ball all the way to the Australia's penalty-box, and literally handing it over to the Aussies in a silver plate — very nervous and anxious at the final third, something the Aussies much obliged!
What we needed to see (or what Thailand needed to do) was some creativity — maybe some through balls, maybe some long-distance shooting, maybe some back-door passes. No, none of that! Although they had the ball possession to themselves most of the time, the finishing moves were lacking.
• Half Time ==> Thailand 0-1 Australia
The 2nd Half took off with much the same pace as the 1st Half. Thailand with possession and on the attack all the time, Australia one-off counter-attacks and mostly laying low on their 1 goal advantage.
And, in one of those counter-attacks 15 min before the end, Viduka luckily slips past one in, making it 2-0 for the Aussies, virtually killing off all the hopes of the Thais.
Then came another Viduka goal a few minutes later, and another Kewell goal 5 min before the final whistle, and Thailand was all said-&-done.!!
• Full Time ==> Thailand 0-4 Australia
Overall, a very enjoyable evening outing for the Vets, and a good time all-in-all. Although the score didn't go the way we wanted to see, we still had a good experience together — the boat-ride being the climax of the whole evening!
Looking forward to next big game in town.
Picture 1 — At the Winking Frog (Soi 7) before setting off for the big adventure. Pictured are: Left-to-right: Joe, Kevin, Kevin's Fiance, Sylvia, Francois, , Derek, Dominique, Eric, Eralp
Picture 2 — Eagerly waiting for the boat.
Picture 3 — Kevin and Derek taking the boat-ride at their own pace.
Picture 4 — Eric is negotiating the disembarkation.
Picture 5 — Waiting for Derek and Joe to return from their ticket scalping trip.
Picture 6 — And, the game kicks off.
Picture 7 — A full packed house.
Picture 8 — In a rare occasion, Aussies are on the attack.
Picture 9 — Half-time 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
Picture 10 — The Thai flag making its rounds in the stands.
Picture 11 — 2nd Half ready to kickoff.
Picture 12 — The Vets are enjoying the spectacle (while Eric is on his Blackberry again).
Picture 13 — Final score: 4-0 for the Aussies (believe me, it does say 4-0!).