Port FC stormed out of the tunnel with guns blazing in the second half to finish off Police Tero and record a comprehensive 2-1 win at the PAT. There was only one change from the squad that travelled to Sukhothai last weekend as Siwakorn (16) returned to the lineup after suspension to replace Genki (18).
The home team started the game attacking the famous B end and wearing their familiar blue and orange. The visitors, wearing battleship grey, looked more like cadets on a 5am run and the atmosphere at kickoff could have reflected that early start. Sluggish was the word flying around the stand as Port set the tempo at a light jog in the early minutes.
The first chance of the game came to the visitors in the 3rd minute when Datsakorn (7) sent a long ball down the right wing that was quickly crossed to the six yard box and narrowly miss by the opposing striker. Port quickly regrouped behind the midfield leadership of Siwakorn who played Tana (99) into the box but he lost the ball after one too many stepovers.
Barely able to string two passes together, Port had their first real chance when a misdirected clearance landed at the feet of Pakorn (9). He danced into the box from the right side only to boot the ball to the top of B stand with his attempt on goal. Several minutes of sloppy play from both teams was interrupted at the 15 minute mark when Police Tero earned their first corner. Datsakorn sent a curling ball to the back post that was brilliantly cleared by Josimar (30). Siwakorn took the clearance and raced down the middle of the pitch, feeding Pakorn on the wing. Pakorn’s cross landed at the feet of Tana but his attempt on goal was blocked.
The speed of the game really picked up when Sergio Suarez (5) charged down two consecutive throw outs from the keeper and possession and pressure was now in the opposition end. Port were on the attack and the midfielders were dominating play. In the 25th minute Suarez intercepted a pass at the halfway line and played Josimar through by dissecting the center of the Police defense. Josimar took the ball on his left foot and ran at the keeper, calmy finishing to give Port well deserved lead.
With the crowd now in full voice Port continued to dominate the midfield with creative passes and hustle from Suarez, Siwakorn and Adisorn (13). Port had the momentum but couldn’t increase their lead as Dolah (4) failed to get on the end of a free kick from Pakorn at point blank range. Police Tero then equalised completely against the run of play as Port goalkeeper Worawut (36) misjudged a laser by Wichan (4) from 35 yards out. The first half finished much like it started with both teams playing out the final minutes and retreating to the locker room with the score level at 1-1.
Port manager Jadet must have said something special at halftime because the boys came out with a sense of urgency supporters have not seen for a long time. Port’s midfield, that played so poorly against Bangkok Glass, was now the leading force behind a second half assault on the Police goal. Wave after wave of attack down both wings excited the crowd but could not produce a second goal for Port.
In the 51st minute Tana galloped down the left wing cutting into the box and was chopped down by the Police right-back but no penalty was given. However, Port kept up the relentless pace and the pressure. Their hard work was finally rewarded when a Pakorn (9) cross was headed down by a defender and Siwakorn smashed the ball into the center of the goal from just behind the penalty spot. More of the same followed as Port continued control the game until the final whistle. In the end they were deserved winners.
Man of the Match: Sergio Suarez
Sergio’s hustle, nifty footwork, well timed tackling and crisp passing was the biggest difference on the day. He had his best game of the season season complementing Siwakorn and spraying passes to Pakorn, Tana and Josimar on the attack. Let’s hope he can continue this good form.
Photos by Tim Russell