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Thailand Futsal: Andaman Pearl clamp down on Killer Bees



PHUKET: The Andaman Pearl are floating high following back-to-back wins in the past week.

Topping off Sunday’s away win to Samut Songkhram (2-6), Phuket’s latest victory was earned at home on Wednesday night against Nonthaburi FC (5-3).

Played at Phuket’s Saphan Hin Indoor Sports Complex, the match was both sides’ 25th match of the 30-fixture GMM Sport Thailand Futsal Premier League (TFPL) 2012-2013 season.

In their first meeting at Nonthaburi back in December, Phuket lost 3-1, and a repeat of that result looked on the cards with the Nonthaburi “Killer Bees” going up 2-0 in the fifth minute of play from two rapid goals by Isawara Junsomkok and Anthaphon Taengrom.

Good team play a minute later ensured a goal from the right wing by Anurak Phetluan, capitalizing on a beautiful cross from Jardel, bringing the score to 2-1.

Jardel equalized four minutes later after a defensive mistake put the Brazilian through on goal, but with Nonthaburi’s keeper still to beat it took a delightful piece of skill to get round the keeper and score into the open net.

Jackson Santos, scoring his 27th goal of the season, put Phuket United ahead, controlling the ball on his chest before striking a volley past the helpless keeper, but Nonthaburi’s Julawan Pinkaeo equalized from the penalty spot a minute later.

Santos is currently the third-top scorer in the TFPL, trailing Si Saket’s Ramualdo Namurato (35) and Navy’s Jessada Chudet (28).

Second-half play was close, but it was the home team who gained the advantage when Santos played an inch-perfect pass across the box for Jardel to slide in for his second of the game sending the home crowd wild.

With time winding down, Si Saket pulled their keeper out of the nets to employ a power play.

Phuket soaked up Nonthaburi’s attacking pressure and it took a great double save from Parinya Pandee in Phuket’s goal, which was followed by a goal-saving block from Marcos, to keep Nonthaburi at bay.

The Andaman Pearl managed several long-shot attempts that narrowly missed their target on the undefended goal.

In the final minute, capitalizing on a loose ball in Phuket’s half, Akadet Chuaiklai hit his mark at the other end of the pitch, and thus sealing the game for Phuket.

Phuket remain in 10th place with 36 points from 12 wins and 13 losses, while Nonthaburi fell from 7th into 8th place with 39 points.

In addition to some 700 fans, a VIP guest was also in attendance.

The Thailand national futsal team head coach Vic Hermans, a Dutch national, told the Gazette: “I’m here to scout for players for the national team. We have several squads and a number of major international competitions scheduled in the near future…

“There is so much futsal talent in the country, and it’s good to see how far the country has come and is still going. I was real proud of the boys for making history in the World Cup, and I am confident they will do well in the next one, too.”

“Meanwhile, we’re also looking to collaborate [with Phuket United] to organize some futsal clinics in Phuket in the near future.”

Coach Hermans said he will also attend Saturday’s Southern showdown between Phuket and Surat Thani.

Phuket’s opponents tomorrow (March 2), the Surat Thani “Lightning Shrimp” are in 5th place (43 points) in the TFPL, and are the only other Southern team in the league.

In their first meeting back in December in Surat Thani, Phuket lost 6-1

Click here for video highlights of that match.

The highly anticipated rematch is expected to draw a large and energetic crowd, comprising both home and away fans.

According to a recent TFPL survey, Surat Thani boasts the largest home game turnout, with an average of about 2,100 fans per match. Phuket follows in second place with about 1,100 fans per match.

Kickoff is set for 7pm. Admission is 100 baht for adults, 50 baht for students and free for children under 150cm (click here for map of Saphan Hin Indoor Sports Complex)

— Steven Layne & Andrew Scott


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