Krabi’s Andaman Eagles swoop down on Phuket FC

PHUKET: The Islanders fell into 11th place of the 18-team Yamaha League One (YL1) as a result of their latest defeat, 3-1 to Krabi FC in a tense “Andaman derby” match on Saturday evening in Krabi Town.

As a result, Phuket FC and the Krabi “Andaman Eagles” swapped rankings, the latter moving up to 9th place with 38 points – two more than the former – to conclude both side’s 30th match of the 34-fixture season.

Drawing first blood, Krabi’s Taweepong Charoenroop fulfilled his duty as team captain, converting a corner kick in the 23rd minute, his second goal of the season.

From then on, possession was evenly weighted and both keepers were made to earn their wages, challenged frequently by eager strikers from the opposition, although the score would remain in the Andaman Eagles’ favor through to half time.

Phuket came out of the locker room in attacking mode in the second half, and for once looked the more determined side, eventually finding the equalizer 18 minutes into the half.

Topping off a series of corner kicks, Phuket’s Japanese defender Yusuke Sato controlled the ball near the goal post with a clear opening to strike, but instead of taking the glory for himself, laid it off to a patient Ludovick Takam at the top of the box, who then pierced the back of the net for his fourth of the season.

Takam had several more close chances after that, but was only slightly off his mark each time.

Unable to make an impression, Phuket’s starting Brazilian striker Luiz “Dudu” Purcino was replaced by fellow Brazilian, Cristian Alex, who also was unable to find his rhythm.

On the other side, Krabi’s towering star Brazilian forward, Valci Junior wooed the crowd on a handful of possessions, characterized by fancy handling and decisive power-drives into the box, but found himself rolling on the ground with Phuket’s final defender in close pursuit each time

While the referee didn’t at first sympathize with Junior’s penalty box break-downs, the crowds’ boos would soon become woohoos when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after one particular challenge late in the game.

Junior’s subsequent spot kick was beautifully spun and flawlessly on target, sending the home crowd into euphoria with only 2 minutes left on the regulation clock.

Phuket pushed for a late equalizer but it would be Krabi to seal the game when Aitipol Kaewkhiew scored a beautiful goal from long range.

For the match’s video highlights, click here.

Nine points clear of 17th place – the second and final relegation spot this season – Phuket have four tough matches remaining, two home and as many away.

Their next challenge will be this Sunday against 6th placed Gulf Saraburi.

In the two teams’ previous five meetings in the YL1 since the 2011 season, Phuket have not prevailed once.

Kickoff this Sunday, at Surakul Stadium, will be at 6:30pm.

Following are all the YL1 results from this past weekend.

Saturday

Krabi 3-1 Phuket
TTM FC 0 – 1 Siam Navy
Rayong FC 0 – 0 PTT Rayong
Singh Tarua 1 – 0 Nakon Rachasima
Khon Kaen 0 – 3 Bangkok FC

Sunday

BBCU 0-2 Air Force United
Rayong United 1–2 Ayutthaya FC
Saraburi FC 1–3 Trat FC
Sri Racha 0-0 Nakhon Pathom United

— Steven Layne

Phuket News
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