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Phuket rain puts out ‘Fire Power’

Phuket rain puts out ‘Fire Power’

FOOTBALL: Intense monsoon rain on Sunday evening halted Phuket FC’s match against visiting PTT Rayong FC, after five minutes into the second half and with the score on nil-all.

By Kazira Hans

Thursday 13 June 2013, 11:48AM

Players on both sides found themselves wrong-footed by the downpour. <i>Photo: Kazira Hans</i>

Players on both sides found themselves wrong-footed by the downpour. Photo: Kazira Hans

Under Thai football rules, the teams agreed to forgo playing the remaining time on Monday morning, and will complete last 40 minutes of the match at Surakul Stadium on a date yet to be decided.

Second-placed PTT Rayong FC had traveled south to the island with their best team, including goalkeeper Noguchi Pinto, speedy midfielder Amadou Quattara, playmaker Jozef Tirer, and experienced forward Pipat Tonkanya.

Phuket FC’s team was less intimidating as most of the squad’s key players didn’t start: Dudu, Eak-artit Somjit and Sakareya Kolea were listed as substitutes, while Poramut Krongborisut and Watcharapong Jun-ngam were brought into the side.

The rain was just a light shower when the match kicked off at 6.30pm.

PTT Rayong had a close shot early on, when Quattara sped along Phuket’s right sideline before crossing into the Phuket penalty box for his teammate Teru Tanaka to charge in, but the subsequent shot didn’t make it past Phuket keeper Ninuruddin “Spider-Ming” Nideha.

Phuket then had a chance of their own eight minutes later, when Giorgi Tsimakuridze clipped the ball forward to Chana Sonwiset.

Chana was tackled with force inside PTT Rayong’s penalty box as soon as he touched the ball, but the referee let the game continue – to the vocal objections of many Phuket fans who saw their player down but no free-kick or penalty awarded.

By this time the rain had intensified and it became more difficult to control the ball on the waterlogged pitch. Tackles became more forceful on the slippery ground, and warnings were given by the referee to both sides.

After 26 minutes of the first half, with large puddles forming on the pitch, Surakul’s floodlights went out, plunging the stadium into darkness for almost 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the rain got even heavier.

When the lights came on and the game resumed, large parts of the pitch were flooded with water, but the teams played on in the deluge.

PTT pushed through a series of attacks over the next 10 minutes – before the stadium floodlights switched off again for a few minutes, due to a brief power cut affecting all of Phuket Town.

Ninuruddin saved a few shots from PTT Rayong, but efforts to score by both sides were badly hampered by the rain, although PTT player Jozef Tirer made one decent attempt.

In the last minute of the game, Phuket FC had another chance when Watcharapong sent the ball high in to the danger zone from left field.

PTT keeper Noguchi Pinto reached for the ball, but it slipped though his hands.

Giorgi then charged in, but Pinto quickly recovered and got there before him – though the Georgian striker couldn’t stop fast enough and crashed into the PTT goalie.

Fortunately the referee didn’t book him, instead blowing the whistle and ending the first half with the score at 0-0.

By the time of the second-half kick-off, the pitch was in even worse condition than before, with deep puddles of water covering most of the pitch, which slowed or stopped dead most passes and shots.

Five minutes into the half, the referee decided to abandon the game – with 40 minutes remaining to play, and the score still at nil-all.

Thai football regulations stipulate that an abandoned game should be continued the next day, but the referee and teams agreed that the remaining game would be postponed to a later date that will be set by Thai League officials, probably on June 19 or July 13.

The Phuket News is the official media partner for Phuket FC, and publishes the Match Guide available at each home game for just B10.

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