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Battle to the last: Phuket FC’s place to be decided in Thai League 4 finale

FOOTBALL: It is highly likely that Phuket FC will have to wait until the very last game of the season to see whether they will hold on to 2nd place in the Euro Cake Thai League 4 Southern Zone.

football,


Matt Pond

Monday 4 September 2017, 05:14PM


Up until this past weekend, Phuket have been in a three-way battle with Chumphon FC and Pattani FC for 2nd place. However, following this weekend’s results it is now Phuket and Pattani who will battle it out for the important position in the league table.

With Satun United having already sealed the top spot, the team that places 2nd in the league table will go into a play-off with the 3rd placed team of the Euro Cake Thai League 4 Northeastern Zone, with the winner of that play-off then gaining a place in the final Champions League stage of the season.

This will see 12 teams battle for two promotion places to Euro Cake Thai League 3.

Ahead of Phuket FC’s game against Surat Thani City FC on Saturday (Sept 2) – a game which saw three goals, two red cards and 10 yellow cards – Phuket sat at 2nd in the league table on 42 points having played 22 games. Pattani were in 3rd place on 39 points with 21 games played, while Chumphon were in 4th place on 38 points also with 21 games played.

Phuket sealing a good 3-0 win over Surat Thani on Saturday kept them at 2nd in the league table now on 45 points and with one game remaining. Pattani managed to narrowly beat Sungaipadee FC 3-2 yesterday (Sept 3) leaving them at 3rd place now on 42 points but with two games remaining. Chumphon, however, were beaten 3-1 by league champions Satun yesterday, meaning they stay at 4th in the table still on 38 points but also with two games still to play.

Phuket FC could in fact know their final position ahead of the coming weekend’s final fixtures as the game in hand that Pattani and Chumphon have over Phuket is a match-up between the two teams themselves.

The teams were due to play each other the weekend of Aug 28-29, however, that game was cancelled due to pitch conditions following torrential rain. The game has been rescheduled and will now take place this Wednesday (Sept 6).

Should Pattani take the three points from Chumphon on Wednesday that will leave Pattani on equal points with Phuket (45) with just their last games to play.

Phuket will take on Phatthalung – currently 5th in the table on 29 points – while Pattani will take on Satun – league champions currently on 55 points.

A draw between Pattani and Chumphon will leave Pattani two points adrift of Phuket FC and with all to play for on the last day of action.

However, a win for Chumphon, which Andaman Dragon fans will be praying for, will mean that even if Pattani manage to pick up three points against Satun on Saturday (Sept 9) and Phuket fail to pick up any points against Phatthalung, also on Saturday, then Phuket will still seal 2nd place as they have a far greater goal difference – currently seven goals.

It will be a major shock if Pattani manage to pick up that seven-goal difference in their last two remaining games, especially if they pick them up against Satun next weekend.

That will then certainly be an issue to be raised with the Football Association of Thailand (FAT).

Now back to Saturday’s action.

The first yellow card of the game came just eight minutes into the action.

Surat Thani’s Weerasak Piemojo (19) was deemed to have fouled a Phuket player. However, after being awarded the yellow card Weerasak protested to the referee. His protest included a heavy push on the ref, who, despite there being a rule which penalises any player touching an official with either a booking or automatic red card, failed to present a second yellow and automatic red for Weerasak.

A similar incident some 20 minutes later, where Phuket’s Tevarit Junsom (26) received a yellow for a foul, and was then was seen to shove the Surat Thani player he fouled saw him immediately given a second yellow and a red and was sent from the park.

But it was Nattapoom Maya (7) who opened the scoring for Phuket just 15 minutes into the game. A nicely taken corner by Andaman Dragon captain Jhanawat Arewansuk (24) found the head of Nattapoom just on Surat’s six-yard box and he made no mistake heading the ball home.

That was Nattapoom’s 13th goal of the 2017 campaign, and he is now joint leading scorer in the whole of the Thai League 4.

Phuket’s second goal came in the final moments of the official 90 minutes. A nice piece of individual play from Porncha Rodnakkaret (25) saw him turn a Surat defender on the left flank and race towards Surat’s penalty area, he put in a nice pass across Surat’s goal and Sutipong Yaifai (9) slid in to make it 2-0 to Phuket.

Phuket brought the score to 3-0 in the fourth minute of additional time.

This time it was nice individual play from Somsak Chonket (15) that led to the goal. He put a nice cross in towards Surat’s six-yard box and a heavily marked Porncha somehow managed to cleverly back-heal the ball into the net.

But the action wasn’t quite over yet, as Surat’s Weerasak, who the ref failed to give a red card previously, picked up his second yellow of the game and was sent back to the changing room in the dying seconds of the game.

Somehow, after The Phuket News has seen sight of the official’s post-match report, although Weerasak’s second yellow is marked, the fact that he was awarded a red wasn’t.

So now it’s all down to Phuket’s last official game of the season on Saturday. The game, against Phatthalung FC, will be played at the Phatthalung Provincial Stadium with kick-off set for 4pm.

 

 

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