FA Cup 2nd round (32 teams) Wednesday 4th July
Port started this cup match with pretty much a full strength team. Worawut (36) stepped in for Rattanai (17), probably just to give Rattanai a rest. The one notable absence was Pakorn (7), maybe he was injured, maybe being rested. I’m sure he would have enjoyed being told he was too precious too risk in this match. The rest of the Port set up was familiar to us all. There was no Sergio Suarez (5) as he’s out injured due to return against Air Force.
Starting Line Up
We have seen this before Adisorn (13) as a defensive midfielder. Kim (8) looking very happy to be pushing up in an attacking midfield role creating chances, passing to the wings and enjoying some rare time in the opponent’s penalty area.
PTT Rayong currently sit joint top of T2 with two other teams on 34 points. One of those teams is Trat F.C. who they play on Saturday. So you could forgive PTT for prioritising Saturday’s match over the Cup.
Port started the game well, looking to get forward. PTT occasionally ventured forward but looked like a team ready to soak up the pressure then occasionally counter attack. The pressure took its toll as Port opened the scoring with a goal from Kim, yes Kim. Kevin (97) floated a great ball in from the left finding a diving Kim in the six yard box. Not the most graceful of players, Kim seemed to half dive half fall over. Low marks for technical merit, but a goal buried in the back of the net and that’s what counts. Kim had a great game finding space in the lackluster Rayong defence. With Adisorn darting about the midfield Kim looked like a player on day release from prison, happy to be the midfield impresario he dreams of being while carrying out his defensive duties. He’s a bit slow at times. I’m not sure he’s got 90 minutes in him running about in the Bangkok heat. As this is the case he will idle around the midfield a bit too much, but when he needs to make a run he can turn on the pace. Del tells me he’s been on top form for the last 10 games, I’m not so sure but I’m struggling to think of a bad game he’s had for a long time.
Port Take Control
On the half hour mark that man again Kim set Nurul (31) free on the edge of the area to only for him to be dragged down in the box, enter the Dragan. Boskovic (23) slotted home the penalty to put Port two up. Have penalty duties switched after Rochela’s miss at the weekend or are they alternating the penalties? It will be interesting to see who picks up the ball for the next spot kick. Now Port finally started to look at ease with the game and attacked with a bit more conviction. Five minutes later chasing a long ball Boskovic muscled his way past a Rayong defender to be confronted by the Rayong keeper ten yards outside his box. The keeper had decided to charge out with roughly the same forethought and sound planning as the charge of the light brigade. Bosko knocked it past him towards the corner then set up a wide open Siwakorn (16). It was such a tap in even the goal shy Siwakorn felt a bit reluctant to celebrate it and just congratulated Boskovic on the pass. Fast forward five minutes it was Nurul sliding the ball into Boskovic to tap it in from 4 yards out.
Written in the Stars
With the 4th goal going in on the 44th minute the planets were aligning and this game was decided. You got the feeling if games could end by mutual consent both sides would have been happy just to call it a day and prepare for the weekend’s fixtures. But they can’t, this is the game we have chosen to play and watch, the cross we have to bear. We all had 45 unnecessary minutes to go through.
Raining on Kim’s Parade
God himself decided to test the patience of the fans and the players as the heavens opened at half time. Fans took a sort of shelter under Zone C. Tim and Achim argued about the exact phrasing of a question about our 4th goal scorer “Who’s got 4th?”, or “Who’s got number 4?” or was it “Who did get number 4?”. Sheltering fans were treated to a new Thai Port version of Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on first” sketch.
A Second Half of Two Halves
After watching the first half from up top in Zone C (a change is as good as a break), I wandered to Zone B with my plastic raincoat on. The Port faithful now divided into two halves. Half of the fans were soaked and half of the fans were less wet but starting to sweat. The bogged down pitch saw periods of play where 22 footballers looked around thinking, “I hope he doesn’t get injured we need him to play well at the weekend”.
Playing it Safe
Nitipong was subbed off for Chakrit (9) which looked more like a preventative measure, maybe he got a knock, but more likely he was being saved because we have no decent back up at right back. In a similar vein Nurul was subbed off for Terens (28). Hard working as ever Terens finally had a bit more time to shine on Wednesday night but failed to light up PAT. A couple of average crosses and a shot at the keeper were all he had to show for half an hour of hard work.
Port did have more chances, throughout the evening Bodin’s work in midfield was good, but his finishing was shocking. Speaking of shocking shooting, Arthit Butjinda (29) was subbed on for Siwakorn, he came on and missed two gilt-edged opportunities. At one point Boskovic was talking to him in the box shrugging as if to say, “What was that? I just put that on a plate for you?” he then tapped him on the back by way of encouragement, but his body language was saying, “Maybe this shooting lark isn’t for you, maybe you’d be good at defending, or maybe squash is your game?”.
Game Set and Man of the Match
With 10 minutes to go Boskovic jinked through two defenders then unselfishly tapped the ball to Kim. Kim then thumped the ball past the keeper from point blank range to add an emphatic fun-filled full stop to the night with a fully deserved brace of goals. Man of the Match: Kim Sunghwan
Full Time Port 5-0 PTT Rayong
PTT Rayong largely happy they had no injuries. The group of 15 die-hard away fans drenched but banging away on the drums all night really deserved a goal for their troubles. Port’s solid defence made sure they didn’t get one, but they were duly saluted by the remaining Port fans of Zone C and B. Port advance to the last 16.
In the post-match conference the PTT manager praised Port for the team’s all round ability and wished us well in the Cup. He did go on to add the squad he put out was a mix of some first team players and some “kids he was giving a chance”.
Elsewhere in the FA Cup things went largely to form. The “favourites” were displaced in a few games with Pattaya, Ubon, and Sukhothai losing to Bankhai, Naraa and Nakorn Pathom respectively. However these three sides were no doubt a lot more focused on the hard work of grinding out three points at the weekend to save their season, rather than the old tradition of putting out a decent team the FA Cup.