Dolphins deliver in local derby

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Pattaya United got their Thai Division 1 league season up and running with a convincing 2-0 win over PTT Rayong FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya last Saturday evening.

Having lost their opening match of the campaign away at Sukhothai FC the previous weekend, United were keen to put some points on the board against their local rivals from down the coast.  The home team were fortunate not to concede in the opening minutes however as Rayong’s Brazilian striker Aron da Silva latched onto a through ball and brought out a smart save from Dolphins’ keeper Piyapatrakitti.

Pattaya United midfielder Sivakorn Tiatrakul (right) attempts to shield the ball from PTT Rayong’s Yves Desmarets during the second half of their Thai Division 1 league match at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, Feb. 21. (Photo courtesy PTT Rayong FC)Pattaya United midfielder Sivakorn Tiatrakul (right) attempts to shield the ball from PTT Rayong’s Yves Desmarets during the second half of their Thai Division 1 league match at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, Feb. 21. (Photo courtesy PTT Rayong FC)

Pattaya’s best chance in a scrappy first half of football fell to Nikola Komazec but the Serbian forward’s flashing header went just the wrong side of the post from United’s perspective.

Pepped up by their half-time team talk the hosts came out stronger after the break and Tiatrakul should have put them in front following some fine work down the wing by Bubalo, but he sliced his shot wide of the goal.  Komazec was then unlucky to see his spectacular scissor kick effort fly just over the Rayong crossbar.

United were dominating long periods of the second half but they had to wait until the 71st minute to break the deadlock. The impressive Bubalo saw the ball ricochet kindly into his path on the edge of the Rayong area and he strode forward to calmly steer the ball wide of Klanklin and into the goal.

Ten minutes later United effectively put the game to bed as Komazec swung in a cross from the left wing and his compatriot Bubalo was on hand to volley the ball into the Rayong net from close range to put the Dolphins two up.

United came close to adding to their tally in the dying minutes of the match but Klanklin made a good save low down to his right to deny Pattaya’s Tiatrakul.

The win sees United rise to seventh position in the table with three points after two games.  Pattaya’s next match is on Sunday, March 1 away at Thai Honda Ladkrabang FC.  Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

In the Thai Premier League, Chonburi FC were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by the visiting Chainat Hornbills last Sunday.  The Sharks had the chance to go top of the league following Buriram’s 1-1 draw the previous day at SCG Muangthong, but two first half goals from Chainat’s Brazilian import Alex left Chonburi 2-0 down at half-time and chasing the game.

Nurul Sriyankem got the Sharks back into the match with his goal in the 62nd minute and then, with just three minutes reaming and following intense pressure on the visitors’ goal, Keawsombat’s looping header found its way into the corner of the Chainat net to give the hosts a well deserved equalizer.

Chonburi move to second place in the table with 4 points from 2 games while Army remains the only team in the division with a 100% record so far.  Chonburi’s next league fixture in on Sunday, March 1, away at Ratchaburi FC and kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.