Theerathon Bunmathan became the second Thai player to play in the J1 League with an impressive substitute performance for Vissel Kobe in their 1-1 draw at Sagan Tosu.
The Thailand star made his J.League debut in the 75th minute with his team trailing 1-0 at Best Amenity Stadium as a result of Sagan striker Kyosuke Tagawa’s early penalty kick.
Coming on in relief of So Fujitani at right back, Theerathon quickly integrated himself into the Vissel attack, making five crosses and forcing Sagan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda to save his 79th-minute free kick.
“[Vissel captain Lukas] Podolski asked me if I felt confident (about taking the kick) and I said ‘of course!'” Theerathon recounted to his club’s official website after the match. “I want to practice my free kick in training and improve my accuracy.”
The 28-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Muangthong United, had plenty to be happy about after his debut earned positive reviews, including a ‘6’ rating from Soccer Digest who noted his ‘demonic left foot’.
“It was my dream to play in the J.League and I’m happy that dream has come true and that we were able to get a point from this result,” Theerathon said. “My manager [Takayuki Yoshida] told me before the match that he wanted to see good crosses and passes from me.
“I don’t think I’m giving 100 percent yet, so I want to continue to improve in training.”