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February Farce – The Port Round-Up Nobody Wanted

Lets face it, following Thai football can be difficult in normal times; the lack of communication between clubs and fans, last minute changes of venue and match date, plus poor stadiums and facilities to mention a few aspects. Now factor in a global pandemic, a league campaign that never seems to end with empty stands and it’s no wonder everyone here at Sandpit Towers has struggled to get the match reports out. So I’ve dusted off the typewriter to keep you up to date with recent events. You might want to sit down and pour yourself a double before you start reading this…

 

Port FC 1 – 2 Buriram United FC 

After getting knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties, our conquerers Buriram returned 3 days later to face us in the league. Port gave a much better account of themselves and took the lead just after half time with a Sergio Suarez finish. Sadly they couldn’t hold onto the lead and capitulated to 2 late goals; first a near post header and minutes later Maicon was suicidally played onside by Worawut/Baresi with time to finish. True, a slight improvement in form but to concede so late easily preventable goals would be especially galling to Coach Oud, who the camera picked up slapping his own head as some self-inflicted flagellation. 

 

Oud, reacts to Oud’s call to take Bordin off

 

Police Tero FC 2 – 0 Port FC 

Madame Pang Coach Oud rung the changes for our trip north of the capital, starting with an attacking trident of Adisak, Bonilla and Boli but in truth, they were especially toothless against a well organised Police. It was truly written in the stars that 2 ex-Port players, both sadly mismanaged during their respective spells at The PAT, would score the goals. Just before the 10 minute mark Dragan Boskovic cooly finished and in the second half cult favourite carthorse Arthit “Pele” Boodjinda smashed home to double the lead. Special mention must go to our keeper Worawut who pulled off 2 exceptional saves to keep the scoreline respectable. 

 

“Pele” scored……

 

BG Pathum United FC 2 – 1 Port FC 

Sadly our form had made this match up a completely different proposition to what it could have been if we had maintained our early season form, whenever that was, and a Port win (stop laughing at the back) would not have really affected Glass’ eventual crowning as champions. The bittersweet aspect of this match is that Port at times were the better team and took the lead in the first half thanks to an acute thunderbastard volley from workhorse Ko Seul-Ki. If Port fans had been in the stadium the reaction would have been akin to Suarez’s goal at Buriram; total bedlam. Port then did the most Port thing possible and immediately conceded an equalizer to Brazilian shithouse Victor Cardozo. The second half was an enthralling affair with both teams pressing for the win but eventually it was Glass securing the points thanks to ex-Port player (getting a bit sick & tired writing that phrase) Chenrop. Yes, that Chenrop. Port had the ball in the net in the final minute of the match but VAR adjudged Suarez to have handled the ball moments before. Fuck you very much VAR. 

 

Who remembers the good ole days when VAR was going to give Port loads of marginal decisions?

 

Port FC 0 – 0 Trat FC 

Port finally secured their first point since the beginning of the month with a draw at home to lowly Trat, a team we would have murdered many moons ago. The opposition decided to show some effort and attempted to secure all the points, while the home team were disorganised, ineffective and frankly bollocks. Please can I stop writing now? 

 

“Put the round thing in the net thing” Oud passing on some much needed advice v Trat

 

So what’s going on with the team? Has the same malaise affecting this website hit the team? Trusted first teamers are dialling in performances, new signings are running around the pitch with no end product and very little tactical awareness is being shown from the bench. 4 points out of a possible 18 and knocked out of the cup speaks volumes; a truly wretched month, plus Buriram have found some steel and are hunting us down. Next up is a trip to Legoland for the Scum Vs Slum derby, and our opponents have won 5 out of 6 matches since the league restart. It’s look ominous people, and this time Jadet isn’t hanging around to swoop in and take the reins. Buckle up, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

 

Derby day

Broken Glass Everywhere: Port FC vs. BG Pathum Utd Preview

 

Well this preview was never going to be simple after the farcical circumstances of last weekend; in case you missed it, the stadium generator went on the fritz at the end of the match and turned a dour, laboured 1-1 draw into a default 0-2 defeat and a 50K fine. Maybe we can install an exercise bike next to the power supply and ask Rochela to pedal for 90 minutes to safeguard against these things happening again? Anyway, there’s another home match on the horizon and this time it’s against one of the big guns: BG Pathum United FC or, to the layman, Bangkok Glass.

Glass suffered a surprising relegation 2 seasons ago, a definite case of a team too good to go down, and then proceeded to romp T2 last season. Even though they are newly promoted they have recruited well and are a solid outside bet for the league, but more likely will have some influence over the outcome instead. They are unbeaten so far this season and Port will certainly have to raise their game against this bunch.

 

BG Pathum Utd

Players to Watch

 

Some canny transfers both preseason and during the enforced break have improved their backline. First they brought in Brazilian man mountain Victor Cardozo (5) from the now defunct PPT Rayong who, with 5 years experience of this league, knows how to put himself about and instill confidence in his defence. Next they took advantage of Andres Tunez’s (30) shameful treatment by Buriram United and brought the Venezuelan over to Rangsit during the shutdown of the league. Even at 33 this could be the transfer of the season; a serial trophy winner and master practitioner of the dark arts of defending. Expect the shithouseometer to be fully cranked up to 11 with these two. Ex-Port midfielder Sumanya (10) will probably feature after leaving PAT Stadium following a lacklustre season playing in the same space as Suarez, and will definitely have a point to prove to his former paymasters.

 

You and us both, Victor

 

The jewel in their midfield is Thitiphan Puangjan (8) and stopping his rhythm will be key to a Port victory. Too good for a lower league, Glass wisely loaned him out to the J-League last season and now have him back for this campaign. A big favourite of seasoned hacks at The Sandpit, this guy has great passing range and is a classic box-to-box midfielder. Although a little light on goals, expect to see him driving the ball through the middle and pulling the strings for the front line. Speaking of their frontline, they went all out and poached free-scoring goal machine *checks notes* Chenrop Samphaodi (19) *checks google* from *rubs eyes*… Port FC. Yep, the second coming of Tana was unceremoniously shipped out of Khlong Toei after a stellar 7 appearances and 0 goals. It’s more likely other forwards such as Surachat (9) or Siroch (35) will start but knowing Port he’ll probably come on and bag a goal. Or give us a bloody good laugh with his headless chicken routine.

 

 

Port FC

The PAT Jigsaw

 

Port will hopefully welcome back key personnel for this encounter, with Go (8) returning from his ban for gonad pulverising, plus centre-backs Dolah (4) and Adisorn (20) coming in to strengthen our defence. The rest of the midfield should pick itself barring last minute injuries, but there will be a decision to make up front. Bonilla (99) is clearly weeks, maybe months away from full fitness so do we gamble on him or go for Adisak (9), who despite his detractors has had a decent start to his Port career in my humble opinion. The final decision will of course be Pang’s and Jadet will accept it as normal so key criteria such as form, fitness and tactics will not be considered and the big, expensive foreign marquee signing will most likely start. Whatever the starting XI, a performance better than last week is required from every individual on the pitch as fans will not tolerate more of the same, especially after so much recent investment in the squad.

 

 

This will be my first game back at the PAT which, on the face of it is great, but from my armchair position last week I was struck by the lack of atmosphere generated during the Police match. Sure, a quarter full stadium will never be able to replicate the intensity a full house (with suitably lubricated fans) brings but the constant encouragement/barracking has always been the ace up our sleeve and definitely affects the opposition. Teams might no longer fear coming here, and now free from being under the cosh from start to finish, that might have a detrimental effect on Port’s results. I also need to work out a new strategy for Toby Time© as there will be no beer sellers outside the ground. This might possibly involve stashing cans up a tree (not a natural climber tbh), maybe a sprint to the 7-11 across Sunthon Kosa Road (no bridge anymore so will have to chance it Frogger style) or wear some elaborate MC Hammer style pants filled with delicious, but potentially warm, Leo. Anyway leave that dilemma with me. Football is thankfully back, and let’s pray to the footballing gods, and local electricians, we’ll get 90 minutes this time around.

 

Fuck this, I’m going for a Leo or 6

 

Prediction

Well it has to be better than last week, but the opposition will be much tougher. Can’t see past a score draw at this moment. 2-2.

 


 

The match will be shown on True 4U and True Sports 2 at 19:00 on Saturday 19 September, 2020. For the many of you who won’t be able to get your hands on tickets, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound. Don’t forget to wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount on drinks.

 

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2020 Vision: BG Pathum Utd

 

After their shock relegation in 2018, BG Pathum Utd – aka Bangkok Glass – made an immediate return by winning T2 2019 at a canter. And after adding some real quality to their squad they’re expected to perform strongly this year. Here’s anonymous Thai football blogger and BG fan Tactics Times with his look at the Glass Rabbits’ chances…

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2020 Thai League Lineup Announced… For Now

 

The 16 teams who will be competing in next season’s T1 have been finalized after PTT Rayong’s rumoured collapse was announced on Monday. To account for the dissolution of the unfortunately named ‘Oil Millionaires’, the FAT have confirmed that only two teams will be relegated, with Suphanburi receiving a dramatic late reprieve. Despite finishing 14th after losing 2-5 to eventual champions Chiang Rai, who they led for a time on a dramatic final day at both ends of the table, Suphanburi have been given a lifeline and will compete in T1 for the 8th consecutive season in 2020.

Coming up from T2 are BG Pathum United, who predictably swept aside all of the competition with ease and took the Championship by a 13 point margin. Police Tero will be joining them, having secured second place on the final day by absolutely obliterating third placed Rayong FC 7-0. Remarkably that 7 goal drubbing was enough to see Rayong faceplant in to the last promotion place as in-form Sisaket were run over 0-3 by Thai Honda.

 

 

But wait, this is the Thai League, and just because the season is over, a team has been dissolved, another un-relegated and the promotion places confirmed, that doesn’t mean the drama is over. Sisaket, who finished just 2 points behind third placed Rayong FC, have been embroiled in investigations throughout the season, resulting in in two separate 6 point penalties by FIFA. The Dangerous Koupreys will apparently find out the result of their appeal to the second of those 6 point deductions this week. If successful they would shoot up to second place, and the FAT would have a tricky decision on their hands. Could they un-promote Rayong FC, or un-unrelegate Suphanburi? Who knows?

They’re already in an unusual situation, having reduced the number of T2 teams for next season to 17 by un-relegating Suphanburi. Should they also un-relegate Navy, who currently join Ubon United and Ayutthaya United in dropping down to T3? Navy finished 14th in T2, and by un-relegating them the FAT could restore the number of T2 clubs to 18 and pass the issue down to the regional T3 leagues.

Of course, whatever decision the FAT come to would be fine if it was done in an above-board manner, with the results of their decisions being based on an unambiguous set of rules provided before the start of the season. Unclear rules can potentially leave wiggle room for Thai football’s governing body to play favourites when things, as they do pretty much every year, get complicated. We’ve seen it time and time again, so don’t be surprised if some unimagined scenario ends up on the table in a few days, and we’re all left confounded when Army are announced T1 winners and Port are relegated to T3 North. You heard it here first.