The attacking might of Port FC was the biggest talking point before they resumed their Thai League campaign at home to Police Tero.
At the end of the evening, the hosts and would-be title challengers had been defeated by a power cut following a hard fought 87 minutes at the PAT Stadium.
Tero had equalised through Adisak Srikampang following the own goal from Prasit Phadungchok that handed Port the lead.
Jadet Meelarp’s side were throwing everything at their tiring opponents when the lights went out and, having failed to illuminate the stadium within the 60-minute limit, Port will be forced to forfeit the match by a 2-0 scoreline (subject to Thai League confirmation).
Attack, attack, attack
Port began the match with a considerable amount of attacking flair as Nelson Bonilla, Heberty Fernandes, Sergio Suarez and Bordin Phala all made the starting XI.
It took just three minutes for Bonilla to make an impact as he put Suarez clear on goal. Unfortunately, for Port, the Spaniard’s shot lacked conviction and it was easily saved by Prasit.
Tero were opened up again 10 minutes later and once more it was Bonilla who set up the chance. Following a surging run from Kevin Deeromram, the El Salvador striker cushioned the ball into Heberty’s path, but the Brazilian bent his 20-yard shot narrowly wide.
Tero hit back
The visitors then had an excellent chance to take the lead in the 18th minute as Patomphon Charoenrattanaphirom drove past Thitawee Auksornsri and bore down on goal. The midfielder seemed to be caught in two minds and his eventual shot went harmlessly into the side netting.
Patomphon’s next effort would be more spectacular. He ran unchallenged from just inside his own half and, with the Port defence backing off, he unleashed a thunderous strike that Rattanai Songsangchan pushed onto the bar.
Bonilla made sure there would not be a repeat minutes later and his crude trip on Patomphon earned him his first yellow card in a Port shirt.
Narong Chansawek soon joined Bonilla in the book for the latest in a number of fouls on Heberty. From the resulting free kick, Heberty smashed the ball into the Tero wall as Port’s frustration grew.
A clumsy challenge from Sanchai Nonthasira saw him go into the book, the victim again being Heberty.
With half-time approaching, Nattawut Sombatyotha replaced the injured Siwakorn Jakkuprasart for Port, adding yet another attack-minded player to the home lineup.
Bordin breaks the deadlock
Five minutes into the second half, Port finally made the breakthrough, with a large slice of luck. Bordin picked up the ball about 40 yards from goal and wriggled past two opponents before stumbling past a weak challenge by Kanokpon Puspakom. The winger looked up and struck a powerful shot from 20 yards that came back off the bar, rebounded off Prasit and back into the goal.
There was a nervous wait for Thitawee as a VAR review was called after he appeared to catch Kirati Keawsombat in the face with an off-the-ball challenge, but the referee decided that a red card was not warranted. Replays suggested that it was cynical and somewhat clumsy rather than a violent challenge.
Bonilla’s Port debut ended just after the hour mark as he was replaced by Adisak Kraisorn in a like-for-like change.
Tero finally created another decent opportunity, but Kwon Dae-hee could not generate enough power on his back-post header and it bounced into the arms of Rattanai.
As Tero pushed more men forward, Port had an excellent chance to add to their lead when they broke forward in numbers. Suarez slipped the ball out to Heberty on the right and as the Brazilian opened up his body, he looked certain to score. But his low shot lacked the usual power and accuracy, allowing Prasit to save comfortably.
Adisak levels it up
Port were immediately punished for their profligacy as Tero levelled the score in the 70th minute. Ekkachai Samre’s excellent low cross from the right evaded the home defence and Adisak fired home from just inside the six-yard box.
With Tero’s confidence building, Patomphon made another attacking run, cutting in from the left and testing Rattanai with a shot that took a deflection.
At the other end, Kevin’s cut-back from the left found Suarez in an excellent position, but, under pressure from two defenders, he couldn’t adjust in time and scuffed his shot wide from eight yards out.
In quick succession, Heberty had a netbound shot blocked before Adisak Kraisorn’s looping header was pushed over the bar by Prasit.
With under five minutes remaining Suarez had another opportunity but dragged his left-footed shot just wide. A minute later, a long ball from defence found Suarez in the clear. His first touch was perfect, setting himself up for the shot. But Suarez opted for power rather than placement and his fierce strike was well saved by Prasit.
A power cut then halted the match with three minutes remaining just as Port were looking more likely to score than at any other point in the game.
With Port expected to put in a strong challenge for the T1 title, the points dropped here could prove extremely costly.
By Paul Murphy