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Boli Bosh! Overhead Strike Tops 2020/21 Goal of the Season Poll

 

With a convincing plurality of the votes, Yannick Boli has stormed to victory in this year’s Goal of the Season competition. Continuing the trend of foreign attacking players scooping the award, Boli’s strike is the successor to Suarez’ magnificent chip in 2019, with the likes of Boskovic and Thiago Cunha having also won the award in previous seasons.

Whilst Boli’s victory was never in doubt, there were plenty of impressive strikes vying for second place, so here’s a look at how the public vote ranked our 10 shortlisted goals. Need a reminder of the entries? Look no further…

 

 

1st) Yannick Boli (41%)

Boli was sizing up his spectacular volley from the moment the ball was nodded back in to the danger zone, and once the wheels were in motion, neither defenders or goalkeeper had a prayer of stopping his acrobatic finish. Made better by the fact that his strike in first half stoppage time set Port up for an away victory, and that Suphan stopper Deyto could do no better than to sink to his knees and smile. Us too, buddy.

 

2nd) Bordin Phala (15%)

Bordin has capped off the most memorable season of his career to date with back to back runner up finishes in our polls, and it’s nothing more than Port’s silky winger deserves. Few were better positioned to view his match winner against Chonburi, that gained 15% of the public vote, than I was. Having given up hope in Port snatching a late winner, and with 94 and a half minutes on the clock, I was on my way down the Zone B steps when Port were awarded a free kick, so I positioned myself right behind the goal. Bordin stepped up and bent a marvelous strike in to the top left hand corner, scraping the outstretched hand of Chanin and earning Port an unlikely late win.

 

3rd) Nelson Bonilla / Go Seul-ki (9%)

Two technical masterpieces share third place in the poll, with Nelson Bonilla’s mazy dribble and clinical finish against Korat and Go’s left footed volley against champions BG deadlocked on votes. Bonilla’s run put one Korat defender on his arse, while he also managed to evade several more opposition players single handedly on his way to his finest goal in a Port shirt. Go’s strike was rather more straightforward, with the Korean watching Nurul’s cross right the way across the box, before finding the sweet spot on his left boot and effortlessly driving the ball back across goal, over the head of Chatchai and in to the top corner. Technically excellent, from a devilishly tight angle and in a big game against the future champions, Go is if anything a little unlucky to have to settle for shared third.

 

5th) Nelson Bonilla vs. Muangthong (7%)

6th) Sergio Suarez vs. Buriram (6%)

7th) Pakorn Prempak vs. Prachuap (5%)

8th) Nattawut Sombatyotha vs. MOF Customs (4%)

9th) Jaturapat Sattham vs. Chonburi (3%)

10th) Bordin Phala vs. Rayong (1%)

 


 

Congratulations to all shortlisted players, who had to get past lots of stiff competition just to make it on to our shortlist. Thanks once again to Arm, who edited The Sandpit’s Goal of the Season compilation, and to all Port fans who voted.

 

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Free Nelson Bonilla! Port Snap Up Salvadoran

 

With rumours going into overdrive in the last week or so, the deal was officially announced last night – El Salvador international striker Nelson Bonilla is now a Port FC player! As usual the details of the deal are somewhat opaque but we hear Nelson has joined on an initial 3-month loan to take him to the end of his Bangkok Utd contract, with the deal being made permanent from there.

Bonilla has been a sensation since arriving in Thailand. In 2018 he scored 25 goals in 33 games for a thoroughly average Sukhothai side, before moving to Bangkok Utd in 2019 where he scored 16 in 20 despite an injury-ravaged season. Every time I’ve seen him he’s looked like a proper Scary Foreign Striker, as well as being a true master of the Latin American dark arts – one Port defender told me he is absolutely horrible to play against.

So it seems Port finally have the proper no9 we’ve been craving and which Jadet’s 4-5-1 system requires. The only question now is, who makes way? Port’s foreign player roster currently reads Rochela, Suarez, Heberty, Josimar, Bonilla. We can assume that Josi won’t make the cut for the 2020 squad, and Suarez is now as much a part of Khlongtoey’s DNA as the market and Leo Beer, so that leaves either Rochela or Heberty to make way. Whilst, despite his goals, Heberty has never looked settled at Port and seems to still be pining for the fjords of Muangthong, he is arguably the best player in T1; and the recent signings of Adisorn, Right Thit and Left Thit mean Port are oversubscribed in central defence and a foreign player in that position is something of a luxury. So I would expect Rochela to be the one making way, especially given that he was dropped for the second half of last season.

That just leaves the question of how Port will line up with their new striker, given that both Heberty and Suarez like to play in the hole. Jadet’s commitment to 4-5-1 is the closest and most unbreakable marriage since Paul & Linda McCartney, and he’s unlikely to risk a Heather Mills episode by switching to a different formation, so it looks like he’ll stick with his Wings and the usual 4-5-1. I’m really sorry, that analogy got rather convoluted. Which means either one of Heberty or Suarez starting on the bench, or, more likely, Heberty playing wide on the right at the expense of Pakorn or Thanasith.

Whatever the side, Port now have such an embarrassment of attacking riches the T1 title is surely theirs to lose. If only we could sign a proper goalkeeper…