In a hastily arranged friendly, Port took on T3 side Kamphaeng Phet in a friendly this evening, presumably to have a look at a few fringe players, resolve the final foreigner spots, and put some of the dead wood – and boy do we have a lot dead wood – in the shop window. The Phet shop window perhaps?
With the first XI rested, many of them watching from the stand, Port started the game with a B team featuring, most notably, Rattanai, who looked fit & ready for action; Pakorn, glowing with spirituality after his spell as a monk but looking somewhat out of shape; talented young Thai players Yossawat and Tatchanon; and, up front, an attacking duo of new Chilean/Palestinian signing Matias Jadue, and Asdrubal.
As you would expect, Port bossed the first half and took the lead through a neat penalty area turn & shot from Asdrubal who, in my opinion, did enough to nab that 5th foreigner spot (assuming that Suarez is on his way, which looks likely given his absence from the squad yesterday). Jadue has a fierce shot on him but otherwise did little to suggest he is any better than what we already have. Kamphaeng equalised just before half time after a lovely run & pass from one of their midfielders was converted from just inside the area.
Of the other first half boys, new loanee centre back Pravinwat looked solid, Pummared impressed once again with his long passing and tough tackling, and Pakorn seemed glad to have swapped the temple of Buddhism for the temple of football.
It was all change in the second half with Jadet sending out very much a C team. The Diamond Walls (nope, me neither) went 2-1 up early in the half after Watchara and Suchon got tangled up with each other, but their lead didn’t last long as Kalu tapped in from 2 yards for the equaliser, before Port wrapped up the win as Pinyo scored from close range after some good work down the left from new boy Jetjinn.
So what did we learn from tonight’s game?
- Asdrubal looks a better bet for the matchday squad than Jadue
- Port have a lot of old lags who need to be put out to pasture. No team needs a 40-strong playing squad, especially when a good third of it is never going to get any first team action
- Promising youngsters like Pinyo and Tatchanon need real game time, and if Jadet isn’t going to pick them then they should get some loan action
- Kaludjerovic is definitely on his way. After the final whistle he ran up to the directors’ box where he had a clearly very animated discussion with La Pang & co, before storming down the steps slapping his head and making a “crazy” gesture. One could argue that he wasn’t given much chance to make an impression, but he hasn’t exactly worked his knackers off in friendlies and still looks way off the pace of Thai football
Port have one more “easy” game – at home to Thai Fleet in the FA Cup this Wednesday – before T1 action returns on Sunday with the somewhat trickier visit of Bangkok Utd, so we expect the management to give some tonight’s players another chance to impress before the window closes at the end of the month. Of course, The Sandpit will be first with all the Port transfer news so keep following us!