FC Phuket Star Suffers Mid-game Cardiac Arrest
Sunday, 31st October 2010 at 04:37am
A cardiac arrest suffered by FC Phuket's Camara Ahmed midway through the second half of the Southern Sea Kirin's vital playoff clash against Chainat FC soured an absorbing encounter at Surakul Stadium on Saturday night.
The influential midfield player collapsed shortly after a power surging run through the visiting side's half and was rushed to Bangkok Hospital Phuket where doctors were able to revive the Ivory Coast national.
Striker Thawin Butrasombat, who signed mid-season from Chaiyapham United, had earlier given FC Phuket the lead, heading into an empty net following a mistake by the visiting goalkeeper to reignite the Division Two South champion's playoff campaign.
This match was billed as a must-win game for the home side and the need for three points was recognised by the local fans as a record home crowd made its way to Surakul Stadium for the 6pm kickoff.
After two matches, FC Phuket trailed group leaders Chainat by four points with the visitors having collected maximum points from their opening fixtures and it was the table toppers, backed by an impressive number of travelling supporters, which made the brighter start.
It took the home side about 10 minutes to find their feet but they soon settled into their familiar slick passing style and began to take the match to their opponents.
Clear cut chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges with neither goalkeeper being tested before FC Phuket had a goal disallowed after 25 minutes.
Following a foul on Adisak Petchluan, teenage midfielder Sarach Yooyen curled a free kick which deflected off the wall into the bottom left corner of the net only for the referee to disallow the goal for reasons still unclear.
From the retake, Diarra Ali forced a spectacular save from the visiting 'keeper who flung himself to his right to keep the scores level at halftime.
Within minutes of the restart, the home side were in front.
A cross from the FC Phuket right was met by the Chainat FC goalkeeper who collided with his own team mate, dropping the ball, which fell to Thawin who completed the simple task of heading the ball into an empty net.
Moments later Camara was being taken from the stadium in an ambulance and, understandably, the manner of his exit left the home side stunned.
This allowed Chainat to work their way back into the match but an outstanding performance from Camara's fellow countryman Nene Bi Tra Sylvestre ensured FC Phuket's lead remained intact.
Thawin could have ensured victory late on as he raced onto a through ball from Sarach, went round the 'keeper but was unable to find the back of the net from an acute angle.
The final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation in the stands but on the pitch the FC Phuket players kept their celebrations to a minimum, understandably concerned for their colleague and friend.
FC Phuket manager Ajharn Sangngamsap was pleased with the victory but acknowledged that the Camara cardiac arrest was of much greater concern.
"I am happy we won but I am more concerned about the health of Camara. He has never had any sort of problem like this in the past and this has come as a surprise," he said.
Man of the Match: Nene Bi Tra Sylvestre.