Port Futsal Club vs. Asia’s Finest: AFC Club Championship Starts Today

 

After last season’s incredible double-winning season, Port Futsal Club will be Thailand’s representatives in the AFC Club Championship 2019 for the first time in 9 years. With Chonburi having won 7 times in a row before last season, Port have mostly been playing in a smaller international tournament for ASEAN’s top teams, but this year they are up against the continent’s big boys.

The three teams in Port’s group are Star FS, Shenzen Nanling and Osh EREM. Their first game against South Korean club Star FC kicks off on Wednesday 7th, unfortunately clashing with the football team’s FA Cup Quarter Final tie against Chiang Rai. The second game takes place on Friday 9th against China’s Shenzen Nanling, and Port’s final group game will see them take on Kyrgyzstan’s Osh EREM on Sunday 11th. This one also clashes with a big game for the football team – the home tie against Muangthong. All games kick off at 19:30 at Bangkok Arena in Nong Chok. If you’ve never heard of Nong Chok, there’s a good reason for that. It’s one district further away than Minburi! The games will also be shown online on Bugaboo TV, who provided an excellent service for the AFC Cup last year.

What are Port’s chances? Well, I know very little about the continental futsal scene, but Thailand are among Asia’s strongest countries, and Port are worthy champions. Not only did they scoop the double last year, but this season they sit 7 points clear at the top, and just last week they stuck 15 goals past NEU Khon Kaen. This is a team on fine form who will not be scared by the finest Asia has to offer, particularly as they will be playing on home soil. It’s a shame from Port’s point of view that Kodang Stadium isn’t the venue, but it’s perfectly understandable that a rickety old warehouse that leaks water through the ceiling is not appropriate to host the biggest club futsal tournament in Asia!

 

 

There has been one significant change to Port’s squad for the tournament. Brazilian pivot Rian Gomes (20) has been replaced by a loanee from Bangkok BTS, Muhammad Osamanmusa (11). This young fella is one of the best players in the country, having scored an outrageous 39 goals in 29 games for Thailand. Let’s hope the goals continue to flow!

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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