Cobra Dai! : Port 4-1 Khon Kaen Utd

 

 

Port put together another dominant display in the wet at the PAT to send the Cobras packing.

 

Back to the couch!

 

For the third weekend in a row, the weather was going to have a big say in proceedings for Port. I was caught in the deluge at Tero last week, and as the storm clouds moved in again around 5pm, it was looking like another washout was going to be on the cards.

 

Having been sat in the dentists chair for a wisdom tooth extraction that afternoon, I’d been warned not to drink for a while, an early trip to the Sandpit was becoming less of a reality, more so once the anaesthetic wore off and the storm kicked in. AIS play was again going to be my means of seeing the match.

 

Team News

 

There were quite a few changes from the aborted match with Tero, but the team was pretty much the same as the one that faced Prachuap, with Rattanai between the sticks for the first time in a while and Hamilton back from suspension, his presence was missed last week vs. Tero! Kevin was back in the squad.

 

 

 

 

With no let-up in the rain, there was no way the match was going to kick-off on time at 7pm, pictures began to emerge of the food and drink stalls area being flooded. The FA decided to buy a bit of time and review things again after 7pm. To the surprise of most, we were back on again, the pitch was cleared using whatever tools available, the players warmed up around 7:30, and some lines were repainted in front of Zone B, we finally got underway at 8:20pm. The stadium had filled up again surprisingly well, considering the fans had been left out in the rain for an hour (again) while the Thai FA deliberated on playing or not.

 

 

Pic: Port FC Facebook

 

 

 

The Match

 

Port had opted to attack Zone B first again, the pitch was especially boggy in front of the Port dugout. In the first couple of minutes, Suarez was clean through but had his shot saved.

 

Then, the shithousery begins, the KKU keeper going down injured after a ball thrown back from zone B hit him on the head. Although his very job description is blocking the ball, this one triggered a reaction like he’d been struck with a 50p coin. I started to fear this was going to be a long evening if the time wasting was going to start so early on top of the awful conditions. It wasn’t just Khon Kaen to be fair, Hamilton later went down during some corner argy-bargy like he’d been punched in the nuts, but the replay showed this was nowhere near a repeat of Vinnie Jones and Gazza. This kind of thing is embarrassing and doesn’t help endear Thai football to the existing fans or anyone just happening to surf through the channels.

 

The overall spectacle was both great and terrible in equal measures, players slipping over and balls sticking in the mud. Port have always been quite adept at playing in these conditions at the PAT and manage to get the passing just right based on which areas of the pitch are more playable.

 

8 minutes in and Port took the lead, Teerasak managed to lose his defender, then recover from his own slip to slide the ball to a waiting Hamilton to tap home from 10 yards out. Less than 10 minutes later Port doubled their lead, and I was contemplating how much of the Prachuap match report I could copy and paste. Pakorn curled in a free kick from near the touchline of zone A that managed to avoid the wall, and a couple of defenders on the near post. Another sublime free kick from Ports dead ball specialist.

 

 

pic credit: Singhphanakon Facebook

 

 

Khon Kaen did catch Port on the break and thought they’d pulled one back but the linesman’s flag had other ideas.

 

Port were continuing to out run and out fight KK in the wet, the team looks fitter this season, with talk that training is a lot more structured under Coach Cooper. Port should have made it 3 before half-time, Tanasith (who’d replaced Bordin) saw his shot painfully get stuck in the mud, just short of the line, the ball came out to Hamilton, but somehow his shot ended up in Zone B, missing the unguarded net.

 

Port went in 2-0 up at the break, but my fear was that Khon Kaen might come back at us after half-time, due to the state of the pitch. But Port simply carried on as they left off before half-time, pressuring the Khon Kaen defence and managing to pass around them. Teerasak had one struck off after a corner found it’s way to him and he tapped home from a couple of yards out, the offside flag was to deny him. There was also a superfluous VAR check on top of this that dragged on, despite it being clear from the first replay at normal speed that it was still offside. It’s almost as if the guys in the Thai VAR room still enjoy the novelty of pissing around with the super slow-mo and drawing the offside lines on the freeze frame. I’ll say it again, this kind of stuff doesn’t help endear the existing fans or any casual fans tuning in.

 

 

Pic credit: Singhphanakon Facebook

 

 

Teerasak finally got his goal with 15 minutes to go, a counter attack started with Hamilton stealing the ball on the halfway line ended with Pakorn chipping a pass over the Khon Kaen defenders to an unmarked Teerasak to slot home. He’d worked his butt off all game, even chasing back to his own half to press Khon Kaen players, if anyone deserved a goal, it was him.

 

Pakorn completed the rout a few minutes later, curling one into the top corner from the edge of the box with his left foot.

 

Port couldn’t quite complete the perfect day at the office, Logan Paul lookalike Romulo pulled one back in the last minute, after another lengthy VAR check that overruled the Linesman’s offside call. Next, Tanaboon saw red in the last knockings, picking up a needless 2nd yellow, kicking out at a Khon Kaen player deep in the KK half, with Port in no danger at all, and the referee about to blow up anyway.

 

9 goals in the last 2 home games, the new system is bearing some fruit, but it does remain a concern what happens when Hamilton is side-lined. Watching some of his antics last night, I get the feeling he’ll rack up more suspension time as the season wears on.

 

Probably to the relief of the groundsman, Port don’t have a home match again until 2nd October. Port travel to BG on Wednesday followed by another away trip to Nong Bua on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

Man of the Match: PAKORN PREMPAK – one of the last survivors of the 2016 promotion team is still a key player after all these years. One assist and two superb goals last night. If this form can continue, Mano must be looking at him for the Thai squad, I’m sure Madame will be in his ear!

 

 

Kenny Goodbourn

Kenny Goodbourn

Kenny moved from the Essex Riviera to Thailand in 2013 and lives in Bangkok. He started following Port in 2016. He has a YouTube channel "Straight Outta Bangkok" in which he follows Port around the country and also features other teams from Thailand and beyond.

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