Due to team numbers, the 2nd placed team in the Thai League 4 Southern zone will then have to take on the 3rd placed team from the Northeastern zone for a place in the Champions League play-offs which will see 12 teams battle for two promotion places to Euro Cake Thai League 3.
And Phuket’s chances of sealing that vital 2nd slot inched closer last night (Aug 6) following a well deserved 2-1 win over Pattani.
Yesterdays’ win follows on from a hard-fought 3-2 win over Phatthalung FC last Wednesday (Aug 2).
From the off you could tell that the game against Pattani was going to be a closely fought battle with both teams looking to strike early and take possession of the game.
And in just the 11th minute it was Pattani who struck first.
A long ball from Pattani’s defence found Rofeedeen Samae (7) on the left flank, his cross found South Korean forward Yoon Sug-hee (99) and his well struck left-footed shot from the edge of Phuket’s penalty box was curled nicely into the bottom right of Phuket’s goal.
Despite going down to an early goal Phuket were unfazed and piled on the pressure hoping to pull the goal back before the half-time whistle. Sadly that pressure was not enough to result in a goal and the teams went in after the first 45 at 0-1.
Coming back after the break it was clear that Phuket were not prepared to leave Surakul Stadium with zero points as they did in their recent game against lowly placed Sungaipadee FC, and they had much of the possession and goal scoring chances in the early part of the second half.
They passed the ball well, created chances and had pretty much control of the game, but it took until the 80th for them to get their just reward.
Phuket’s Aphichat Denman (10) floated in a beautiful cross from the right, it found the head of the league’s top scorer Nattapoom Maya (7) just on the edge of Pattani’s six yard box and he neatly headed the ball home to bring the score level at 1-1.
Nattappom’s goal bring his tally for the season so far up to 12.
And this goal was the turning point for Phuket FC, now they weren’t going to be happy walking away from the game with the single point, they wanted all three points.
The pressure they put on Pattani, which was already heavy duty, got even heavier, all the action was taking place in Pattani’s half and Pattani started to make forced errors.
And with only minutes of the game remaining Phuket thought they had sealed the three points.
Phuket’s Thai forward Suttipong Yaifai (9) put a great cross into Pattani’s penalty area from the left, Pattani’s keeper Sarawut Wae-Asae (29) came out catch the ball but fumbled it, the ball fell to the feet of Nattapoom who smacked the ball home.
No goal, the linesman on the right had deemed Phuket’s Cameroonian centre forward Yannick Pairice Touguessong (29) to have been offside when Nattapoom’s shot was taken.
But Phuket didn’t give up, with the pressure they were putting Pattani under they had the three points in their sights, and they got the three points four minutes into additional time.
Phuket were awarded a free-kick some 20-25 yards out from Pattani’s penalty area, defender Tevarit Junsom (26) played the ball into the centre of Pattani’s box and their Thai defender Soranan Sataworn’s (88) attempted clearance deflected off his foot and into the top of the net.
Three points sealed for Phuket FC.
Having now played eight games in five weeks, Phuket will be on a much needed 10-day break before returning to action.
The now only have five games remaining in the normal season, and the first of those five games will be against one of the teams currently vying for the 2nd place slot, Chumphon FC who sit just below Phuket in 3rd in the league table on 35 points. Phuket are in 2nd on 37.
The game is set for Wednesday August 16 at Surakul Stadium with kick-off at 6pm.