Yala FC shock FC Phuket, 2-0

PHUKET: FC Phuket lost 2-0 at home to Yala yesterday in a surprise result that is a setback to their otherwise impressive bid to win the Football Association of Thailand’s Division Two South title.

FC Phuket went into the game at the top of the table having taken maximum points from every home match so far this season. Yala, by contrast, were sitting in tenth position, with just four wins from sixteen games.

The home side got off to the worst possible start when they conceded the opening goal from a harmless looking free kick after only two minutes.

FC Phuket keeper Safari Nelson was in poor position when Yala’s Abdun Safee launched the free kick from the halfway line over his head and into the empty net.

Yala FC could easily have gone two goals up five minutes later when they saw a strike ruled out by a dubious linesman’s flag.

FC Phuket enjoyed a lot of possession after that, but were unable to create quality chances and Yala FC took the lead into halftime.

A second half onslaught was expected by the Surakul faithful, but Yala were desperate to hold onto their lead and changed tactics accordingly, choosing to play their midfield in extremely close to their defense.

In the 64th minute FC Phuket’s teenage striker Adisak Kraisorn was brought down in the box setting up up a penalty kick for Diarra Ali, but it was a tame effort that Yala keeper Nirudin Nideha easily stopped.

The feeling that it was not FC Phuket’s day was reinforced five minutes later, when Diarra Ali was given a glorious chance to atone for his earlier penalty miss but dragged his shot wide.

Despite FC Phuket’s dominance, when the second goal did arrive it was Yala who scored it.

In the 84th minute Amat Kadaffi received the ball wide on the left wing while his strike partner Maha Manayoopee was off the pitch receiving medical treatment.

Alone with four FC Phuket defenders between him and the goal, he decided to go it alone.

He did so with brilliant effect, leaving three defenders trailing in his wake before cutting inside and placing a shot beyond the despairing dive of the hapless Nelson.

Despite the setback, FC Phuket remain seven points clear at the top of Division Two (Southern Section) and are on course for a place in the promotion playoffs.

— James Goyder

Phuket News

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