Pattaya United’s season hit two major road blocks in the space of four days last week as first they were knocked out of the Chang FA Cup following a 4-1 home defeat by Muangthong United and later at the weekend they were on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline against the defending league champions Buriram.
The midweek Cup game against Muangthong at a damp Nongprue Stadium saw the Dolphins line up without several of their first team starters, including leading goal scorer Pinto Junior. The home team showed plenty of heart however and matched the Kirins for most of the game, scoring a last minute equalizer through Soony Saad to take the match into extra time.
The 30 minutes of additional time proved to be just too much for Pattaya’s young team though and as they began to tire, the visitors used their superior squad to full advantage. Teerasil restored Muangthong’s lead 13 minutes into the added period and further late strikes by N’Dri and Teerasil again gave the score a somewhat lopsided look at the final whistle.
Though United were now out of the Cup, the Pattaya players had shown plenty in this game to suggest that they could give Buriram a good run for their money at the weekend.
At the defending league champions’ Thunder Castle stadium last Sunday, the Dolphins got off to a dream start when Pinto Junior made up for his midweek absence by giving his side the lead in just the third minute of the match.
Buriram trailed for most of the first half before an equalizer by Bruno Moreira sent the teams in level at the break. Anon Amornlertsak put the home team ahead soon after the restart and an own-goal by Pattaya’s Thanasak Srisai compounded by the sending off of Suphanan seemed to swing the game decisively in Buriram’s favour.
Once again United showed great heart however and Junior pulled a goal back to narrow the score to 3-2. With the Dolphins pushing forward in search of an equalizer they were caught out and Anawin Jujeen scored to restore Buriram’s two goal cushion and seal the points for his team.
In the two matches against the top teams Pattaya showed that they could match the big boys, although winning is still an issue. United will be hoping for better results against lower level clubs in their upcoming fixtures, hosting Army on the 20th July followed by an away trip to BBCU four days later.