Saturday, April 24, 2010
FC Phuket maintained their one hundred per cent home record and returned to the top of the table with a hard fought win over local rivals Krabi last Saturday.
Krabi and FC Phuket have enjoyed contrasting fortunes this season with the latter right up in the promotion places and the former struggling near the foot of the table. Despite their lowly league status Krabi provided the sternest test of FC Phuket's promotion credentials of any team to visit the Surakul Stadium this season.
Manager Arjan Songsamsub reshuffled his pack playing Nene Bi, who had previously played all his football here in centre defence, in the lone striker’s role.
FC Phuket played a 4-3-3 formation which became 4-5-1 when Krabi were in possession meaning that leading goal scorer Adisak found himself somewhat surprisingly playing wide on the right.
The tactic was not entirely successful as Krabi had the better of the opening exchanges. The closest that either side came to scoring was when the visitors hit the post with a speculative shot from near the right touchline after a corner had been cleared.
Krabi's keeper appeared less than convincing, underhitting a couple of early clearances, and was entirely culpable as FC Phuket grabbed an opener against the run of play. A speculative cross from the left hand wing caused the keeper to come charging off his line allowing the ever impressive Diarra Ali to head the ball into an empty net.
Songsamsub changed things round at half time, moving Diarra Ali back into central defence and pushing Poramut and Adisak up front in a more conventional 4-4-2 formation. The tactic almost backfired spectacularly with Nene Bi and goalkeeper Jagked getting in a mix up and the Ivory Coast defender fortunate to see the ball bounce harmlessly off the post after he had inadvertently deflected it goalwards.
Nene Bi almost redeemed himself moments later when his curling free kick could only be punched clear by the ever unconvincing Krabi keeper. Jagked was then forced into making a smart save with his feet at the other end but it was to no avail as moments later Krabi grabbed an equaliser with an unstoppable pile driver of a shot from the corner of the penalty area.
The passionate FC Phuket home support, who have split into two factions each sitting at opposite ends of the ground, were undeterred. With the crowd’s chants ringing in their ears FC Phuket started to enjoy increasing possession with the visitors content to settle for a point.
Songsamsub decided to go for broke, bringing substitute Chakrit off the bench and the striker made an instant impact. A right wing cross fell kindly for him and he showed real composure to chest the ball down before blasting it into the roof of the net.
The win keeps FC Phuket in contention at the top of the table despite having failed to win a single away game. Speaking after the match manager Songsamsub defended his decision to tinker with the sides tactics,
'Krabi's defenders are good in the air so I played Nene Bi up front because he is stronger than any of my other strikers and can hold the ball up well. We were leading 1-0 at half time and had some problems with our defence so I decided to change things round. I was expecting more of a long ball game from Krabi in the second half and Nene Bi is good in the air so I moved him back to centre half.'
While Songsamsub's first half tactics may not have convinced, his second half substitution surely changed the course of the game, 'Chakrit is a real striker. He is not good in the build up but his shooting is very good and I wanted to win the game,' he said.
Chakrit's late winner kept up FC Phuket's record of winning every single game at the Surakul Stadium this season. Songsamsub is in little doubt as to why the team's home form is so much better than their away form,
'The fans make a big difference to the players. I think that is why we are so good at home.'
FC Phuket travel to Hat Yai on May 2nd and the next home game is against Surat Thani on May 8th.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It is the second year in a row that a major football match has been moved from
Muang Thong Utd qualified for the Asian Confederations Cup courtesy of winning the Thai league last year. A win against
Muang Thong started to get into the game and were unfortunate not to take the lead when a headed clearance fell at the feet of Pichitphong Choeichiu whose well taken volley clipped the outside of the post.
A few challenges were flying in and these early exchanges were increasingly punctuated by the referee’s whistle.
Then came the turning point of the entire game, a
Despite the dismissal Muang Thong Utd came out strong in the second half and had the better opportunities to score.
The referee did the ‘home’ side a considerable favour by sending off
Then disaster struck in the dying minutes. Muang Thong Utd conceded possession deep in the
The result leaves
As recently as 2007 Muang Thong Utd were playing in the third tier of Thai football much like FC Phuket are at present. Muang Thong Utd managed to achieve consecutive promotions before winning the Premier League at the first attempt last season. Muang Thong Utd’s rapid rise, which has come with the aid of considerable investment, will give FC Phuket hope that they too can enter the upper echelons of Thai football.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thai Champions Muang Thong Utd will be playing South China in the AFC Cup on Tuesday night at the Surakul Stadium.
The match, which is scheduled to kick off at 6pm, has been moved to Phuket from Bangkok due to the ongoing political turmoil in the countries capital.
The AFC Cup is the Asian equivalent of the UEFA Cup and Muang Thong Utd currently sit top of their group with South China in second spot, three points behind them.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Surat Thani are level of points with FC Phuket courtesy of a 2-0 win over Phang Nga but have a game in hand.
With only five points separating the top five teams FC Phuket will need to urgently address their away form if they are to fulfill their promotion ambitions.
Friday, April 9, 2010
FC Phuket have yet to win away from home, drawing every single away game. These two sides met in a pre season tournament with FC Phuket winning on penalties after a goalless draw but FC Phuket have improved vastly over the course of the season.
FC Phuket are only ahead of second placed Yala courtesy of goal difference so anything other than a win could see Yala overtake them at the top of Division Two (southern section).
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
FC Phuket comfortably saw of the challenge of Nakhon Ratchasima to progress to the next round of the Thai FA Cup. The Division Two (Northern Section) side made the long journey down from Korat to face Arjhan Songgamsub's team at what is fast becoming referred to as 'Fortress Surakul'.
Any aspirations that the visitors had of remaining in the knock out competition at FC Phuket's expense were swiftly dispelled as prolific teenage striker Adisak burst through a statuesque defence to give the Sea Kirin a first minute lead.
Songgamsub has been shrewd in his selection of the three permitted foreign players and Ali Diarra and Camara in midfield and Nene Bi at the heart of the defence give FC Phuket a solid spine. The three men from the
FC Phuket have won every home game this season, the goalless draw on the opening day of the season with Pattalung having been changed to a win due to irregularities in the fielding of foreign players by Pattalung.
This record never appeared in serious threat until FC Phuket keeper Jagked, without having had a serious save to make, found himself picking the ball out of the net. While the goal was entirely against the run of play it was perfectly executed as a looping header from a far post cross eluded everyone before nestling in the back of the net.
FC Phuket has captured the imagination of football fans on the island and the home support was once again fantastic, noisily supporting the team from start to finish. This confidence has clearly infected the FC Phuket players who, undeterred by this setback, continued to dominate posession. Within minutes of the equalizer FC Phuket made the breakthrough with Poramut being scythed down in the penalty area and the referee showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
The outstanding Ali Diarra was given the responsibility and the midfielder calmly sent the keeper the wrong way to give FC Phuket a well deserved half time lead.
The second half was a lacklustre affair as FC Phuket slightly lost their grip on the game. Nakhon Ratchasima lacked the quality to exploit the hosts hesitation though and the best chances of the half still fell to the Sea Kirin with Adisak spurning a glorious opportunity with a harmless cross cum shot from the right hand flank.
Ali Diarra looks an outstanding acquisition and put in a goalscoring man of the match performance for the second consecutive home game. With FC Phuket already looking too good for Division Two an encounter with a Division One side in the next round of the Thai FA Cup is an intriguing possibility.