Southeast Asia Thailand

Asnawi Mangkualam Makes Port Debut in Thrilling Win Over Arch-Rivals

Asnawi Mangkualam made his debut for Port FC on Wednesday night’s Thai League 1 action, where he made a major contribution to the Lions of Khlong Toei’s winning goal as they went from 2-0 down to win 4-3 over arch-enemies Muangthong United at the PAT Stadium.

The newest chapter in the Muangthong-Tharua rivalry saw away fans attending the heated clash between the two sworn enemies for the first time in eight years, following a ban that was put in place after a riot had broke out between Muangthong and Port supporters following a match in 2016.

Everyone at the PAT Stadium were rewarded with a thrilling spectacle that saw Muangthong go two goals up in the first half, only for Port to claw their way back into the game and lead 3-2. Muangthong then landed a late equalizer, only for Port to clinch all three points with literally the last kick of the game.

Uthai Boonmoh’s Muangthong side silenced a raucous PAT Stadium in the 28th minute after Willian Popp had given the away side the lead, before the Brazilian doubled Muangthong’s advantage in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a well-taken penalty.

However, Port roared back in the second half on the back of a superb performance from Teerasak Poeiphimai, who reduced the Lions of Khlong Toei’s deficit in the 62nd minute, equalized in the 73rd minute, before completing his hat-trick that saw Port took the lead for the first time in the game in the 76th minute.

Kotaro Omori then threatened to undo Port’s comeback in the 85th minute with his goal that made the match finely poised at 3-3, before Port head coach Rangsan Viwatchaichok decided to throw Asnawi into the fray. The former Jeonnam Dragons man replaces Suphanan Bureerat at right-back in the 90th minute.

Shortly after his introduction in the fourth minute of injury time, Asnawi made a cut-back pass to Worachit Kanitsribampen, who proceeded to lay it off towards Barros Tardeli. The well-traveled Brazilian striker made no mistake with the ball, firing home past Korrakot Pipatnadda in the Muangthong goal to seal all three points for Port.

The win kept Port at third in the Thai League table with 35 points to their name, only one point behind second placed Buriram United and two behind leaders True Bangkok United. The Lions of Khlong Toei have also established a healthy five point gap between themselves and fourth placed BG Pathum United, who will host Uthai Thani FC on Thursday.

As for Muangthong, their ninth defeat of the season left the fallen giants toiling at 13th place with 18 points, just one point above 14th placed Chonburi FC in the relegation zone.