Victorious Secret: Chonburi FC 2-3 Port FC

Port sealed a stunning comeback after going behind twice in a pulsating Friday night encounter at Chonburi. The hosts will feel a little hard done by but thanks to a wonder save from Worawut (36) and some sterling defending Port snatched all three points.

Jadet was forced to change personnel and formation dues to injuries to Rochela, Pakorn, Kevin and Nurul, selecting a midfield trio of Siwakorn (16), Go (8) and Sumanya (11) with Bodin (10) taking a wide attacking role. The pre-match conversation as we settled into our spot at arguably T1’s worst away end was a little nervy and unsure; Jadet clearly motivates his players but his tactical awareness, or lack of, sometimes lets him down. This was either going to go extremely well or very, very badly.

Chonburi started the first half a little brighter than Port with Kroekrit (10) flashing his shot across goal in the 11th minute after some lax defending from the Port centre back pairing of Dolah (4) and Todsapol (6). Nitipong (34) then sent a speculative long range effort towards the Chonburi goal which diminutive keeper Chanin (35) fumbled, then both Suarez (5) and Dolah wasted good chances from set pieces. Chonburi drew first blood, seizing on a short pass from Dolah, the ball was worked across the forward line to Lukian (91) who coolly finished the move. The lead didn’t last for long and Port drew level in injury time; a goalmouth scramble saw the ball loop to Go and he dispatched the ball on the volley for his first goal in Port colours. It was a deserved goal and a fitting end to the first half.

Regulars on the terraces and this website might know that I am ridiculed for missing goals but a second source of ridicule is my choice of bags. My choice for this trip was ripped apart even before the minivan left Bangkok (“Ethnic traveler bag. I’m surprised you’re not wearing trousers with elephants on it.”) but inside that bag was another; a Victoria Secret’s bag, the first thing I could find as I was leaving the flat. It contained a gift for one of the group (not lingerie). Now some of you might not know this brand so to help you out here’s a picture from one of their recent fashion shows:

 

 

The bag somehow made its way to the stadium and became a lucky charm, showing off its versatility by being held in either hand, aloft with both hands, or as a hat to ponder on the finer points of the beautiful game. Here’s a selection of us modeling said bag:

 

 

Port should have taken the lead at the start of the second half but Bodin’s shot was stopped on the line by child-like Chanin and then cleared. Chonburi retook the lead after Todsapol’s header went straight to Worachit (8) and he sent the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. A third goal for Chonburi was averted thanks to a great instinctive save from Worawut, diving in front of Lukian from a few yards out. Port continued to press and got the equaliser in the 66th minute; a peach of a cross from Bodin found Dolah who headed across goal for Suarez to flick in. This set up a great final 20 minutes. Both teams could have got a winner but in the 78th minute Boskovic (23), far more effective playing in a wide left position, sent a great ball over the Chonburi defense and waiting at the far post was substitute Arthit (29) who fired into the roof of the net. Young Pele wheeled off in delight but Chonburi urged the referee to consult VAR for offside. After a few nervous minutes the referee gave the goal and the Port faithful started the party. Port saw out the rest of the game and 6 minutes of injury time to claim their second victory of the campaign. Sadly, an attempt to get the Victoria Secret bag to the players failed but it sure did us proud tonight. You might see more pink and white carrier bags as the season progresses, just don’t give us any funny looks.

There is no need to look at the negatives today; this game was a rip-roaring thriller and Jadet should be hailed for his team selection, tactics and substitution. The midfield trio looked awesome together and Go worked tirelessly at the base of midfield to allow Siwakorn and Sumanya to flourish. Bodin showed that he is a team player with a dangerous range of passing and Boskovic plays with more purpose in his natural position. This will give Jadet a happy headache when the injured players return but, knowing his past track record, he’ll probably stick to his preferred formation and players. Anyway, three points on a Friday night makes for a very happy weekend. Now I’m off to buy some more lingerie.

 

The Sandpit’s Man of the Match: Sumanya Purisai

There he is, the player we’ve been waiting for. I hadn’t been overly impressed with what I saw in the previous games but tonight he was awesome; a swashbuckling performance which drove the team to victory. He brings more energy and directness to the team and interestingly it seems he has made Siwakorn raise his game as well which bodes well for the rest of the season.

 

Toby Knight

Toby Knight

North Londoner, Arsenal fan and believer in lucky cigars, Toby decamped to Bangkok 2 years ago and happily stumbled upon Port FC last season. The rest, as they say, is history.

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