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Bulls in a Chainat Shop: Chainat Hornbill 0-3 Port FC

 

With Chainat already having defeated Bangkok Utd and Muangthong this season (not that the latter is much of an achievement these days), and with referees often being very accommodating to the Hornbills on their home turf, this was a potential banana skin for table-toppers Port. Despite the Hornbills being in the relegation zone most of last season, Port only took a point from them and turned in their worst performance of the season on their last visit to Khaophlong Stadium. And with title rivals Buriram and Chiang Rai both winning the night before, the pressure was on Port to restore their 4-point lead.

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It’s Your Fault We Can’t Drink Beer So We Hope You Go Down: Port FC vs Chainat Hornbill FC Preview

 

It’s normally a tasty one, this. Port vs. Chainat has some history to it, and with both sides locked in tense battles at opposite ends of the table this could well be another feisty encounter. The reverse fixture in the first half of the season was anything but – Port meekly surrendered a 1-2 defeat to their rivals – but at a PAT Stadium which has just had a month off T1 action, expect a boisterous crowd to inspire a much-improved performance than Wednesday’s limp affair, another 1-2 defeat, this time at Prachuap. This allowed Muangthong to restore parity with Port in the table, although Port retain third place due to their superior head-to-head record. Chainat also suffered defeat in midweek, although they did it in rather more spectacular fashion. Chainat scored 4 but conceded 5 against relegation certainties Ubon UMT, dropping them in to the final relegation spot, which they now share with Police Tero, Suphanburi and Bangkok Glass.

 

Chainat Hornbill FC

Players to Watch

 

Chainat are the poster boys of a disastrous approach to foreign player recruitment this season. The balls-out move of recruiting three foreign forwards has been common and successful in the past, with the quota previously allowing an additional player – usually a defender – along with those, but this season the quota shrinking has made this approach redundant. A few teams just didn’t get the memo. Of the current bottom 5, 4 (all except Ubon) have recruited 3 or more foreign forwards, and it hasn’t gone well.

 

Oh no, wait, not them…

 

That’s not to say that Chainat’s attackers aren’t a dangerous bunch. They most certainly are, the problem is that they’re largely a three-man team. Between them they have 30 goals and 15 assists, with the captain, big-name star and top-scorer in 2016 and 2017 – former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle (10) – surprisingly the weakest on both counts with just 6 goals and 2 assists. He is 34 now, and has started dropping in to a more withdrawn role, similar to where Suarez plays for Port.

The tip of the Chainat spear is Ivorian striker Bireme Diouf (20), who netted against Port in the first half of the season. He has scored 12 times, and has also provided 6 assists. A very pacy striker who makes runs in behind and tries to stretch defenses, Port would do well to make sure he doesn’t get in to one-on-one situations with Dolah.

And finally, the most impressive of the three-piece jigsaw is Diouf’s compatriot Bernard Henry (11). Henry has spent most of the season playing on the right wing, but has matched Diouf’s 12 goals, as well as providing 7 assists. Port left back Kevin must avoid brain farts around this fella, as any error will be punished by Henry, as Kevin’s horrific back-pass was punished by Jonathan Reis on Wednesday.

 

 

Thai players of any significance are few and far between in Chainat’s squad, but young midfielder Baramee Limwattana (17), who is on loan from Bangkok United, scored last week and should finally have cemented his place in Chainat’s lackluster midfield. 20 year old Thai-Italian professional tall man (198 cm or 6ft 6) and Dolah impressionist Marco Ballini (23) isn’t a nailed on starter, but the youngster who recently broke in to the Thai under 23 squad should probably return to the starting XI just by virtue of not being involved in the midweek catastrophe against Ubon.

 

 

On top of getting battered on Wednesday, Chainat also managed to get two players suspended. Goalkeeper Teerath (27) got sent off for a professional foul in injury time, and winger Laksana (14) picked up his fourth yellow card of the season.

 

Form

 

It’s been over 2 months since Chainat’s last win, and that was only against Air Force. Since then, it’s been 3 defeats against Chiang Rai, Korat and Ubon, and 2 draws with Navy and Chonburi. Their next 6 fixtures are then Port, Bangkok Glass, Ratchaburi, Muangthong, Prachuap and Bangkok United. The trapdoor beckons. Now over to Port to give them a downward shove.

 

Port FC

We Are The Lethargy

 

It’s always a possibility at this stage of the season, and on Wednesday’s evidence it looks very much as though Port are going to follow form and endure a late-season slump. It’s not as if there is nothing to play for, either. Assuming that Buriram go on to lift the FA Cup (a likely but by no means certain outcome) Port could sneak in to the Asian Champions League qualifiers if they can hang on to third place. With Muangthong now level on points and Prachuap just one behind, staying third is far from straightforward; winning against Chainat is an absolute must.

There are no suspensions, and as far as I know Rattanai (17) is the only one who is certain to miss out with injury. Nurul (31) looked very lively on his return, and Adisorn (13) was fit enough to be named on the bench.

Worawut (36) made one outstanding save on his return to the side and could do nothing with Reis’ sensational winner, but could have dealt more decisively with Kevin’s horrific back pass for the first goal and fumbled a high ball in the second half to give away a corner. Still, he is assured of a start on Sunday. The most surprising selection on Wednesday (although we should know better by now) was Siwakorn (16) getting the nod ahead of Anon (20) in central midfield. On the evidence of Anon’s performances since his arrival at Port, there’s simply no question that he’s a better fit in Port’s midfield that Siwakorn, who has had his worst season with Port since re-signing in 2015.

Nurul looked lively and dangerous on his return to the team, meaning that Bodin (10), who has had more than enough opportunities to stake a claim to a place on the left wing, will have to get comfortable to the bench. That of course means Pakorn (7) will be starting again on Sunday, despite displaying an almost unfathomable lack of interest on Wednesday. When he wasn’t miscontrolling the ball to give away throw-ins or ballooning free-kicks over the bar he was generally moping around and refusing to put in the requisite work-rate. I’d drop him without a moment’s thought, but Jadet won’t.

The rest of the team really picks itself.

 

Predicted Lineup

 

 


 

The match will be shown live on True Sport 2 at 19:00 on Sunday 9 September, 2018. For those who can’t make it to PAT Stadium, 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.

 

Chainat Hornbill FC 2-1 Port FC

 

After last night’s gutless, embarrassing show by Port at Chainat, I’ve decided to show as much effort, commitment and respect for my audience in this week’s match report as the players did last night. So here it is, accompanied by a pic of two players who, whilst they may not have been as naturally talented as some of the current side, always showed heart and knew what it meant to wear the Port shirt.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Tana

It was a shock to see that Tana, who appeared to have left the club late last season to become a policeman, was part of yesterday’s matchday squad. It was an insult to underused players like Terens and Bodin that he was brought on ahead of them. And it was an embarrassment to the rest of the team that he was Port’s best player on the night and had our only shot on goal. Millions spent on new players and we’re still relying on Tana? What a joke.

 

Sandpit Songs of the Season Week 12 – Chainat

 

Port travel to perpetual strugglers Chainat today for a must-win away fixture. As Dom pointed out in yesterday’s big match preview, the two clubs have considerable history and none of it is amicable, so we’re expecting a feisty encounter.

As for this week’s song, this swaggering acid rock banger from the mighty Spiritualized sums up the feelings of most Thai football fans about this worthless club.

 

 

T’Port – Chainat in Your Hand: Chainat Hornbill FC vs Port FC Match Preview

 

Wednesday 25th April Kick off 5.45 p.m.

Bloody Chainat Away

Port and Chainat isn’t a local derby, and it isn’t big meeting of ex-powerhouses of Thai football. However it does have a history to it.

Singing in the Rain

My first trip to Chainat saw our most important player our big Korean central defender Wo Hyun sent off for a very soft second yellow card offence. This sending off effectively ended Port’s chances of getting anything from the game. It absolutely pissed it down and the away section has no cover – there is a photo somewhere of people in raincoats and in the rain with the caption “we will support you”, or something like that. Chainat away in the rain has become a reference point, when talking about the worst games/away trips we’ve ever had to endure.

At the Death

My second away visit saw a dour 0-0 being played out at the home of the Hornbills. There wasn’t any trouble between the fans apart from a bit of jeering here and there. We watched 92 minutes of fairly uneventful football with two teams trying not to lose the game, when Watchara popped up unmarked. This is Watchara the old left back, so it wasn’t surprising he wasn’t being marked. What was surprising to everyone, even fellow port players, was Watchara having a glance up at the goal and releasing a rocket into the top corner. Cue crazy Port celebrations with only minutes of the game left to play. Port’s late winner was a complete smash & grab job.

23 July 2014 – Walk on, walk off, smile on, run off

The most heated match was at PAT and saw a disallowed Port goal protested by the Port players. After consulting with the linesman the ref reversed the decision. This incensed the Chainat team thinking the ref was just being persuaded by the intimidating atmosphere of the PAT crowd. After the referee reversed his decision it was time for the Chainat players to protest and they walked off into the dressing room, fully throwing all of their toys out of the pram. After gentle persuasion from the match officials they came back out, to a very hostile PAT reception. As is so often the case the ref. decided to even things up by giving Chainat a very soft penalty. They converted it to go 2-1 up in the 80th minute. Chainat time wasted for 10 minutes, and Port had a player sent off deep into injury time. The usual cheering of the home fans was probably not a good idea in this atmosphere – the Chainat players went over to Zone C, but their aim was more to taunt the beaten home fans joking and laughing at Zone C stands, which sparked off an assortment of plastic cups and random items being thrown at the Chainat players. They quickly stopped laughing and ran off into the away dressing room.

(Editor’s note – although the game was probably held up for around 20 minutes, the ref only added on 6 minutes and then blew up after 4, further enraging the Port fans. He ended up barricaded in his dressing room for 2 hours)

Who was in charge of the Hornbills leading his players off the pitch? A Mr. J. Meelarp. (J. for Jadet). So if anyone knows how things work at Chainat and how to beat Chainat it should be our very own forward planning Fat Cat. After the match Port were fined and netting was put up across Zone C for the first time, and since this game beers have not been allowed inside the stadium. Yet another reason to hate the Hornbills!

Sticks n’ Stones

Rocks were thrown at the Port fans sitting in the away section when Port visited in July 2015. Not by a fan group but a bunch of kids. Considering what happened at PAT everyone saw this as an attempt to redress the balance after their players had stuff thrown at them.  Whether they were encouraged to do this by some at Chainat, or just bored kids doing what lots of bored kids do we will never know. With Cheating Chainat’s record we can have a good guess. Later the Chainat owner apologised for not ensuring the safety of away fans. Some of the kids involved were given new bikes, sorry typo, were severely reprimanded by someone.

So that’s the history we have with Chainat – what about this year?

Chainat Crisis

Newly promoted Chainat are now sitting in 16th place with 9 points and have a goal difference of -10. Those numbers are looking pretty worrying. Along with Air Force and Ubon UMT most people are tipping Chainat to go down. With 5 relegation spots this season it’s difficult to disagree with this prediction.

Their top goal scorer is Bireme Diouf (20) with 5 goals. The 33 year old striker from the Ivory Coast did manage to put 2 goals past a decent Chiang Rai team to give Chainat one of their best results of the season so far.

They also have the famous Florent Sinama-Pongolle (10), though this season he’s been proving rather less than the marvelous marquee signing we thought he was – he’s probably just about found his level at the tail end of his career. Turn up with your Liverpool 2004-05 season shirts to get a memento of Liverpool’s greatest ever player who sounds like somewhere to watch films, (oh no wait there was Dave Odean who played for them in the 1954-56 season). Florent’s 2004-05 record, 660 minutes 2 goals. Sinama you’re one in a million, or maybe one in 330 minutes.

More bad news for Chainat: they have their stalwart Korean Central defender Park Jong–Oh (3) out on 4 yellow cards.

Port’s lineup

Unlikely to be many surprises for Port. Only injuries seem to really change our oversized overseer’s team selection. Saying that Flash (A.K.A. Terens Puhuri) (28) did get a good run out on Saturday. Hopefully we will be using him more than in 20 or 30-minute bursts at the end of games. Prior to Saturday he was being criminally underused. I think the line-up will be pretty much the same as Saturday but with Kim (8) playing a more defensive role. Also I think Dolah (4) may start over Todsapol (6). I’ve always said there’s not much to choose between these two players but Dolah looked good coming on after Todsapol was tiring. There was a story in the Thai Press about Suarez (5) coming back into the squad but he was nowhere to be seen on Saturday. I think we are a better, more balanced team with him, but the last thing Port need to do is rush him back and cause a longer term injury as they have done too often before.

Rattanai (17)

Kevin (97), Rochela (22), Dolah (4) , Nittipong (34)

Nurul (31), Kim (8), Adisorn (13), Siwakorn (16), Pakorn (7)

Boskovic (23)

Subs but likely to see some time on the pitch.

Todsapol (6)

Bodin (10)

Terens (28)

 

Although Chainat are in the drop zone Port have only managed one away win this season. So sneaking a goal and trying to sit on it might well be the pre-match orders from the portly planner of PAT.

“Port FC – the home of Hockers, Thailand’s Number 1 expat football fan. He’s Thailand’s number one, and he’s one of our own.”

For those not going up to Chainat, the game will be shown at The Sportsman bar on Sukhmvit soi 13. Wear your Port shirt and get 10% discount on selected beers.