Elephantastic!: Suphanburi FC 1-3 Port FC

 

 

Port travelled upcountry to 15th place Suphanburi. Although the War Elephants are in the relegation zone, they have not lost in their last seven league games with 2 wins and five draws going back to June.


First Half

The tone was set in the opening ten minutes. The hosts were comfortable inviting pressure and looking to counter attack, a similar plan to their trip to PAT in the first leg. Port would have to be patient but found it difficult to keep possession and nearly went a goal down in the 14th minute when Suphanburi winger (10) chested the ball down on the edge of the box only to see his shot sail just wide of the near post.

A few minutes later Port earned a corner and Sumanya (11) sent a sublime corner to the far post only to see Tanaboon (71)  bundle the ball wide of the goal.

In the 20th minute Port were forced to make a change when Sumanya was clipped by a sliding boot which went unnoticed by the referee. When Blackburn(99) came on to the pitch the team seemed to rise up and start to play the type of football we had seen the last two games. The next 10 minutes saw a flurry of Port chances with most of them coming from poor challenges and hard tackling by Suphanburi. The second scoring chance came in the 25th minute when Tanaboon squared a pass to Suarez (5) and his 30 yard laser was sent behind for a fifth corner. Things were looking up and the opening came in the 29th minute when yet another Suphan foul was punished with Port’s first goal. Manager Choke sent the center back’s forward and Bodin’s(10) cross found the head of Elias Dolah(4). The ball rattled the crossbar, bounced out Blackburn(99) who took a lovely controlling touch and smashed an overhead kick to the back of the net. Awesome was the only word to describe it!

Port were cruising along to halftime when they nearly fell victim to one of those pesky counter attacks that seem to have plagued them over the last two seasons. Suphanburi played the ball behind the defence yet again and Worawut made a great save on the near post, the rebound falling to the feet of the striker but the double save kept the ball out of the Port net.

As the referee brought the first half to a close Port were lucky to be in the lead, with the War Elephants appearing satisfied to keep things tight and pressing from the counter attacks.

Second Half

The second half started much like the first half finished with the ball moving quickly from end to end. Bodin started to boss the left flank, out pacing the Elephants at every turn. Port earned a corner which opened the door for the second time. Bodin’s curling deliver met the head of Suphanburi winger Tanasith(10) inside the 6 yard box and his attempt at a clearance beat his keeper for Port’s second goal.

Following the own goal Suphanburi brought on Thai league legend Cleiton Silva(23) and this seemed to give them a boost. New tactics pushed Suphanburi forward and within minutes they were pressing and earned a corner which brought the crowd to life. A poor clearance by the Port defense gave the ball back to Suphan midfielder(16). He sent in a cross that found the head Suphan center back(6) and beat Worawut to get the War Elephants within a goal.

The game was now being dominated by the hosts. At times Port looked like they were a man down and in a 10-minute span Suphanburi had several clear chances on goal. Silva was unmarked in the box but sent his header straight to Worawut and Delatorre got free once again put a sitter just wide of the goal.

As the clock ticked down in extra time Suphanburi threw men forward in an attempt to get a point from the match but Port remained strong and scored a third and deciding goal when Suarez cut a deft pass on the left side of the box to Narul who slotted the ball right of the keeper from 8 yards out.

Port claimed a well earned three points on the road to build on a solid win vs Muangthong a week ago. With only 6 league games remaining the boys in blue and orange are in third and will most likely have to win out to have a hope of finishing in an AFC qualifying place.

 

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Worawut

Whilst this was a deserved win for Port, it wasn’t the best performance of the season and they often made heavy work of things. Thankfully keeper Worawut was on top form, making some spectacular saves to prevent Suphanburi getting back into the game. At this rate we will likely never see Rattanai in a Port shirt again.

 

Mike Strunk

Mike Strunk

Mike arrived in Bangkok in 2004 and has been an avid Port supporter since the 2010 season. He is a Physical Education teacher and spends his leisure time taking his kids on adventures, playing cricket and of course supporting the mighty Port FC.

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