Ang Thong were all over Port like white on rice in Sunday’s friendly encounter. Port were easily turned over 4-2 by a lively Ang Thong side who showed Port’s second and third string players no mercy at PAT Stadium. The game was notable as four new signings made their debuts, although none got particularly long outings. Nevertheless, new left back Yossawat (28) looked outstanding, indicating that he could well be challenging for a starting berth sooner rather than later. As far as the rest of the squad goes, Jadet chopped and changed even more than usual, meaning few players were on the pitch long enough to get settled in before they were taken off again. The exceptions were Hansson (33) and Anisong (15), who played most of the game due to the absence of Rochela (22) and Dolah (4), who we assume are enjoying an extended holiday somewhere nice!
Those who are acquainted with my match reports know that I usually include line-ups for each period as well as substitutions, but trust me when I say that if I tried to do that a game with this many players and substitutions we would be here all day, so I’m not going to get in to too much detail. If you’re confused by some of the new names, check out the updated squad list, which includes the new signings at the top. I haven’t included the squad numbers they wore on Sunday, as those are likely to change.
Jadet started with a host of new signings and fringe players whereas Ang Thong opted for their first XI, and the visitors’ first string immediately set about dominating Port. Ittipol (7) and new signings Narakorn (29) and Pummared (40) couldn’t really get a foothold in midfield, and a central defensive partnership of Pakasit (2) and Anisong (15) was pretty feeble against a strong, fast Ang Thong attack. The only bright spots were the two full-backs, who got forward well and came racing back when required. Hansson at right full back was flying up and down the touchline at break-neck pace, and Yossawat at left full back showed superb quality with his crossing.
Nevertheless, Port conceded not one, not two but three goals in a dire first thirty minutes. Ang Thong were waltzing through the middle of the park practically unchallenged in either midfield or defense. It’s an understatement to say that Ittipol, Narakorn, Pummared, Anisong and Pakasit didn’t cover themselves in glory!
In the second thirty minutes Port started with what looked like something close to the first XI (minus holiday-makers Rochela and Dolah and temporary monk Pakorn), and interestingly Maranhao (92) was picked behind Josimar (30), with Suarez (5) left out. Whilst we don’t want to read too much in to what is essentially a meaningless friendly, it’s looking increasingly like the writing could be on the wall for the Spaniard. After being dropped for the final league game against Sisaket and then this friendly, his place in the squad is at the least under serious consideration. Unlike previous friendlies, however, Maranhao didn’t do his case any favours against Anthong. He didn’t see much of the ball, and despite a couple of useful runs, didn’t make a decisive impact on the game.
Yossawat (28) did, though. When Panpanpong (19) was taken off after a nasty-looking challenge left stud marks on his thigh, the 21 year old came on, and just a few minutes later he delivered a sumptuous cross which Genki (18) headed home from a few yards out. With Pakorn (9) missing – having temporarily become a monk – set-pieces were also up to grabs, and Yossawat took a couple of corners which had some pretty serious whip on them, too. Promising!
In the final period, Port fielded another cobbled-together XI including new signings, injury returnees and fringe players. Pinyo (21) played his first game since pre-season, replacing Ekkapoom (8) who had played in both of the first two periods. Both looked lively at times, but their lack of stamina also showed. Jetjinn (26), another new left back, also made his debut in the final period, looking steady although he didn’t see too much of the ball. Port pulled another goal back after some fantastic work from Nitipong (34) on the right. He twisted, turned and his well-struck shot could only be parried in the direction of Pinyo, who volleyed home from close range. Port’s short-lived search for an equalizer was brought to an abrupt end when more lackluster defending led to an Angthong forward rounding Watchara (37) in the Port goal and passing in to an empty net. It was a fitting end to a game in which Port were second best for the majority of the game, and a two goal margin was probably fair.
Port FC Man of the Match
It will have to be seen as an opportunity missed for Maranhao, who failed to make much of an impact when played with the first XI, but an opportunity seized for my Port FC Man of the Match Yossawat, who on the early evidence is a very good prospect indeed. Watch out, Panpanpong, he’s coming for you!