Phuket Sports: Warlords conquer the Islanders
PHUKET: A poorly coordinated and lackluster Phuket FC defense conceded five consecutive goals in a devastating 5-1 away loss last night to Saraburi FC.
Played in front of 1,328 fans at Saraburi’s OrBorJor Stadium in Saraburi province, about an hour’s drive northeast of Bangkok, the match was both side’s 28th of 34 scheduled fixtures.
Though playing without their key Brazilian midfielder, Marcio Santos, who was benched with a foot injury, the Islanders went into the match confident for at least a draw.
It would be the first match that Phuket’s hi-profile Brazilian keeper, Alonso Goleiro, was fielded, with Ivorian import Makalou Ibrahim (commonly known as Kanoute) and Korean Seongwon Byeon also part of the starting 11.
However, the Warlords were clearly more prepared for the match, launching their attack early with Manus Tadsunton scoring in a breakaway in the 8th minute, sliding his shot to the far post, through the hands of Alonso.
Though Phuket dominated possession through much of the match, posing a constant attacking threat, they were unable to find the equalizer, and Saraburi were keen to capitalize on a number of fatal defensive mistakes by Phuket.
Saraburi’s leading scorer, Suppakorn Narknoi scored two more in the 38th and 43rd minutes to put his side up 3-0 by the break.
The speedy midfielder completed his hat trick 12 minutes into the second half, smashing home his 14th of the season.
Suppakorn is now tied with four others in the football league for the golden boot race, including Suphanburi’s Pipat Thonkanya, Bangkok United’s Romain Gasmi, Airforce United’s Kouassi Yao Hermann and Ratchaburi’s Douglas Gardozo.
The home side’s fifth and final goal would come on 68 minutes from Choi Jaewon, the Korean who played for Phuket most of last season.
Down five, the Islanders still continued to fight, and finally found a consolation goal in the final minute of normal time, scored by midfielder Narakorn Wisetthanakarn.
For all the goals click here.
With the win, Saraburi secured their mid-table standing of 10th place.
The loss sees Phuket fall down into 13th place, just one place above this year’s five team relegation pot.
The Islander’s next match will be a tough home match this Sunday against 3rd place Sri Racha Suzuki FC.
Relegated to Division 1 this season, the Sri Racha “Blue Marlins” are looking to get re-promoted to the elite league and if Phuket doesn’t improve its form quickly, could be made to pay dearly this coming Sunday.
In their first meeting in Sri Racha back in April, Phuket lost 4-2.
Kickoff, at Surakul Stadium, will be at 6:30pm.
— Steven Layne
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