Dolphins hit the doldrums after last minute defeat

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Pattaya United’s Picha U-Tra (right) challenges for the ball with Ratchaburi FC’s Phillip Roller during the Thai League 1 fixture at the Mitr Phol Stadium in Ratchaburi, Saturday, May 12. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)
Pattaya United’s Picha U-Tra (right) challenges for the ball with Ratchaburi FC’s Phillip Roller during the Thai League 1 fixture at the Mitr Phol Stadium in Ratchaburi, Saturday, May 12. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)

Pattaya United suffered another disappointing result on the road last weekend when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Ratchaburi FC at the Mitr Phol Stadium on Saturday night.  The Dolphins third loss in their last five league games has seen the team slip down the table and United now stand just 2 points above the drop zone.

United competed on a fairly equal footing with Ratcha­buri last weekend and came closest to opening the scoring when Lee Won-Young saw his goalbound header cleared off the line.

The hosts bounced back and took the lead on 40 minutes when United failed to prevent a Ratchaburi break down the right flank and when the cross came in, the home team’s Korean forward Kang Soo-Il was waiting in the six-yard box to turn the ball home.

After the halftime break United piled the pressure on the home defence but the Dolphins were lacking a clinical final pass and many half chances went begging.  It appeared the game was destined to be settled by a solitary goal until the 81st minute when United striker Lukian was fouled on the edge of the Ratcahburi area.  Lukian’s teammate Jakkaphan Praisuwan stepped up to take the resultant free-kick and sent a beautiful curling shot past the despairing dive of Wongmeema into the hosts’ goal to level the score at 1-1.

The equalizing goal was no more than United deserved for their second half efforts but it was all to be for naught as in the third minute of stoppage time the United defence was caught napping from a free-kick and Ratcha­buri’s Chutong ghosted into the area to head the winner past Khammai and send the Dolphins home empty handed.

It was cruel luck on United to lose in such a manner but they will need to regroup rapidly for this coming weekend’s challenge when they take on table-topping Buriram at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya. Kick-off on Sunday is scheduled for 6 pm.