His time at Port may have been brief and disappointing, and he may now have moved onto a career in India’s MMA scene, but there is one thing – apart from his unprovoked assault on the dressing room door – that we’ll always remember from Thiago Cunha: his 2016 Sandpit Goal of the Season!
The East Timorese netbuster’s lob against Muangthong in last season’s League Cup semi won the poll with 22% of the vote, beating efforts from Maranhao and Tana. Final positions are below:
Football hipsters that we are, the Sandpit team voted for less obvious choices: I voted for Nitipong’s curler, Tom went for Thiago’s overhead kick, and Dom is such a craft beer-swigging vegan hipster bastard that his favourite goal wasn’t even on the list. You probably haven’t heard of it.
But I can understand why Thiago’s goal won. Every goal against Muangthong is special, but the little push on the defender, the lob over the keeper (the best keeper in Thailand it has to be stressed) and the manic celebrations in the PAT that followed made it the greatest single moment of the 2016 season. The minutes the followed the goal, with Port flying into their opponents and a sold-out PAT in a state of deafening hysteria, were some of the most exciting and exhilarating I’ve ever experienced in a football stadium.
By the time the second leg came around Thiago had already picked up his handbag and flounced off to Mumbai, and Port, despite a creditable 1-1 draw in the Theatre of Corrugated Iron, went out. But for a few brief minutes, we were beating Thailand’s best team and had a foot in the final. For that at least, Thiago will be fondly remembered. Congratulations Senhor, and you can collect your prize – a large bottle of Leo – on your next visit to the PAT!
Relive that goal and the other 9 goals below: