Port Adopt Stray Swatcats: Port FC 2-0 Nakhon Ratchasima FC

 

Port bounced back from Tuesday’s disappointing loss against Ceres Negros by easing past a pretty poor Korat side 2-0 in the Leo Cup. Well, as long as we win the ones that matter!

Port started with a mixed XI including mostly recognized starters with a few lesser known faces thrown in. Rattanai (18) took over from Worawut (36) in the Port goal, Rochela (22) returned to the defence at Dolah’s (4) expense and Steuble (15) was given a run-out in place of Kevin (23). In midfield, Kannarin (31) was given a first start in Siwakorn’s (16) usual position, and up front Adisak (9) was given a chance to impress through the middle with Bordin (10) sitting out, and Heberty (37) switching nominally to the wing.

 

 

This lineup was almost more interesting than the game itself for me, as it gives some insight as to what else Choke has in store for us besides the dross that was served up on Tuesday.

Rather than the more typical blow-by-blow match-report, I’m going to go player by player today and talk a little about their performance and their standing in the squad.

 


 

Rattanai (18)

He made some decent saves, notably hanging on the ball when Port’s other goalkeepers might parry or punch. On the other hand, his distribution was awful. Same old story for Rattanai, he’s good but he’s not quite a complete ‘keeper. Port’s management are a simple bunch though, and the fact that Rattanai kept a clean sheet and Worawut’s mistake is still fresh in the memory probably means that Port have a new/old main man between the sticks. Until he gets injured.

Nitipong (34)

My only bone with Niti in the last couple of games has been that his final ball has been a bit wild. He needs to practice his crossing, forget about shooting altogether and keep doing everything else he’s doing. Solid and high-energy as always.

Tanaboon (71)

It seems that I was wrong to assume it was a question of who was going to be starting alongside Dolah. In Choke’s eyes, Tanaboon may well be the first choice, with Rochela and Dolah battling it out for the right to partner him. He didn’t have a great deal to do at the back, but at least he didn’t make any mistakes today.

Rochela (22)

Given a chance to re-assert a claim to a starting berth, Rochela also had a solid game. And a clean sheet. How that effects the competition for starting places I have no idea. Dolah’s still my number one, but that means nothing.

Steuble (15) -> Jaturapat (81)

Steuble was facing a quick, lively winger and very effectively shut him down. A good defensive performance, showcasing the part of his game that is arguably stronger than Kevin’s. He’s unlikely to have catapulted himself in to the first team, though.

Jaturapat only played a few minutes, so all we learned is that he’s third choice.

Go (8)

Gave away possession a bit more than I’m used to seeing, but never mind. We know he can turn it on when the serious stuff starts. He might fancy the opportunity to impress against top Asian opposition on Sunday.

Kannarin (31) -> Sansern (69)

A very lively performance from Kannarin. He’s lively, he tackles and he makes dangerous forward runs. A box to box midfielder with a bit of everything. He played a couple of stray passes, but he did more than enough right to overlook that. Looks like and he could well provide Siwakorn with a real challenge to keep his place alongside Go this season, which has to be a good thing. On the early evidence this is a shrewd signing.

Sansern was peak Sansern. He only played a few minutes, and in that time he gave the ball away trying to do something simple before playing one beautiful pass which only he would have even thought to try. Great ability, probably not going to get in to the team.

Pakorn (7) -> Bordin (10)

He’s now in the unfortunate predicament that Nurul found himself in a couple of seasons ago. A bigger name wants to play right wing, so he’s is shunted out on to the left where he’s less effective. Pakorn still did pretty well, but predictable was substituted early. Choke really doesn’t rate him, even when he’s on his game, which could be a big oversight on his part.

Bordin got rid of the awful blonde mop which apparently infected his brain on Tuesday, and he didn’t do much wrong today after coming on for Pakorn. Hit the post from a good chance when he should have scored, but his link up play was nearer the level we’ve come to expect.

Heberty (37)

Much better than Tuesday, although that’s not saying much. He caught some strikes cleanly, showcasing his incredible power, and he played a part in both goals. His assist for the second was gorgeous, showing the damage he can do when he gets his head up and looks for a pass. Moving in the right direction after a poor debut.

Suarez (5) -> Nattawut (45)

Another very Suarez performance, doing all the good things we’ve come to expect. The Spaniard rediscovered his scoring touch this time, making the difference and securing the Man of the Match award. His first goal was scrappy, but the second was sublime. We’ll take them both ways thanks, Sergio.

 

 

Nattawut was only on the pitch for a few minutes, and I didn’t notice him.

Adisak (9) -> Chenrop (39)

Adisak showed again that he’s willing to play like a proper striker, just without the goals. To be fair he’s only played one and a bit games, so there’s plenty of time, but he hasn’t hit the ground running. The fact that Suarez prospered in his more natural position is probably the best thing about Adisak being on the pitch.

Chenrop had his best moment when Heberty pointed where he should run and delivered him a lovely through ball. He was only on the pitch for a few minutes, so not much to report.

 


 

Port’s victory means they face a big challenge in the form of J1 team Cerezo Osaka in the next round. Maybe seeing as we’re playing a Japanese team we can wear those hideous new shirts we released for that explicit purpose.

The next round will kick off on Sunday at 19:00 at PAT Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on True4U.

 

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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