PHUKET: The island's professional five-a-side soccer club, Phuket United fell 3-5 to the Bangkok Futsal Club, in an exciting and intense match-up in Phuket Town last night.
Played in front of nearly 1,000 spectators at Phuket's new 4,000-seat Indoor Sports Complex in Saphan Hin, the match was both sides' third match of the 30-fixture, GMM Sport Thailand Futsal Premier League (TFPL) 2012-2013 season.
Marking Phuket's inaugural home match in the elite TFPL, the match opened with both sides enjoying equal attacking pressure.
It was the visitors, however, who would break the ice, three-quarters of the way into the first half, with Nawin Rattanawongsawat scoring on the 15th minute.
Capitalizing on the Bangkok momentum, Thawit Kingkaeo doubled his side's lead a minute later, while Pratchaya Srimanta found the back of the net two minutes after that.
Stunned, the Andaman Pearl regrouped and in the final minute of the half, Brazilian import Jackson Santos made good of an assist from his comrade Rogerio Moreira to put Phuket on the board with a beautiful strike from the left wing.
Down 1-3, Phuket looked revived in the second half, ever-determined to level the score.
Cheering from the vocal crowd intensified as Phuket increased pressure on the ball.
Bangkok's defences were tight, and their keeper Katawut maintained good positioning for the most part.
Phuket finally got their break on the 33rd minute with a long shot out by Nattapong Buachai, bringing the score 2-3 and much of the crowd to their feet.
Bangkok quickly found themselves in foul-trouble, having reached the five foul limit. Had they fouled once more, Phuket would have had a penalty kick but that never happened.
With the clock winding down, Phuket employed a strategic 'power play' formation, bringing their keeper Tawisak out of the nets to help on the attack.
However, the tactic proved to work in favor of the visitors, who managed to capitalize on the vulnerable Phuket defense to score two consecutive goals by Phubet Kongthong and Warut Wung Sammma-al on counter attacks.
With the score 5-2 to the visitors, Phuket pushed on, with Moreira scoring from the right wing in the final seconds of the match to bring the final score 3-5.
Speaking to the Gazette
after the match, Bangkok coach Wisaan Maiwichit said: It was a fun game. As the away-team, we had to be patient and bear with the pressure... Phuket fans were quite vocal. The fans have a part and can affect the result, but I'm satisfied with how my team kept with it to win...
Phuket Head Coach Suphol Sena-peng was regretful: In the second half, we had many chances to come back, especially when the score was 3-2, and we had momentum. However, we couldn't finish, and a few mistakes in the end caused us this game.
Phuket's next match is an away fixture against Surat Thani next Saturday, December 8.
Other TFPL results yesterday:
Samut Sakhon 1 4 Prachin FC
Lampang Utd 2 -2 Si Sa Ket
Leo Bang Sue 2 3 Samut Prakarn
Samut Songkhram 4 4 Surat Thani
TFPL Matches to be played today:
Nonthaburi vs Highways Dep
CAT FC vs Chonburi
Navy vs Thai Port