With a number of key players, including top scorer ‘Dudu’, out of action due to injuries, Coach Paniphol Kerdyaem had to readjust his lineup, something which he appears to like doing anyway.
The Islanders started the game well and took an early lead 10 minutes in from a climbing header by Nenebi from a Geoffrey Doumeng corner. The team played well for the remainder of the first half with probably the best first half performances they have given all season. This against a Trat team that seemed to be looking to get some nominations for next year’s Oscars, rolling around the floor, apparently in agony, with every tackle that Phuket made. This really is something the Thai FA needs to do something about, as sometimes, like in Saturday’s game, it really does go beyond a joke and results in players getting totally unwarranted yellow cards.
No changes were made at half time and Phuket started the second half even better than the first with Giorgi taking a great opportunity from a loose ball and putting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Trat’s goal. Yes, it does appear Phuket can actually score goals that don’t come from a set move.
So at 2-0 up and still with 40+ minutes left of the game, you would have thought Phuket had learnt something from their previous week’s game when they saw their 2-0 lead dwindle down to a 2-2 draw, and that the coach and team would have had some kind of strategy in place try to make sure it didn’t happen again. Unfortunately not! Only the coach and players know and can explain what happened following Giorgi’s goal, because I certainly can’t, unless I simply say the team fell asleep for 10 minutes. What was one of the strongest sides to start this season completely fall to pieces and saw their 2-0 lead completely turned around into a situation where they were 2-3 down, yes, in the space of 10 minutes.
With only 5 minutes to go and with Phuket not even coming close to having a goal scoring opportunity since Giorgi scoring, Nenebi took it upon himself to go full throttle and yet again prove why he is the longest serving and most popular of Phuket players, running from goal to goal like there was no tomorrow and trying to make some kind of amends for the loss of 3 goals. His efforts were well worth it, for with 3 minutes left to play in the 5 minutes of injury time added on, he delivered an in perfect cross which Giorgi managed to pile into the goal, bringing the score to 3-3 at the final whistle.
Luckily for Phuket other weekend games went their way and they still remain at 5th in the league table. However, if their really is any chance of them even coming close to getting promotion to the Thai Premier League something, I cannot say what it is, but something has to change, as no team that 2 weeks in a row goes from 2-0 down to earning just a point will get or deserves the promotion.
This Wednesday, 29th May 2013, will see Phuket FC take on their arch rivals Krabi FC in the only local derby fixture of the season. The game is being held at Sarakul Stadium and kick-off is at 6.30pm.