MBMG International League Div. 1 & 2
Pattaya City entertained a strong Londoner team at Horseshoe Point last weekend, the Bangkok outfit being the champions of 2008-09 before been dethroned by City last season. The Londoner came into the game unbeaten this season with City just behind them and both teams are determined to remain the powerhouses of the league.
As expected, the game started at a furious pace with space hard to find and both defenses remaining rock solid. A shot on the turn was the first effort by the Londoner attack but it was high and wide. Then a poor clearance by the City defense allowed a Londoner forward half a chance but he missed the opportunity, which was a warning to the City defense.
City replied with a beautiful free kick by Dipita but none of the City forwards took advantage. Chances were very few and far between and when City’s Fineman’s cleaver dribble left him in front of the goal, a last desperate tackle saved the day for the Londoner.
City tried with centres across the goal but Londoners towering giant centre half easily headed them away. From one of these powerful headers the Londoners broke away and with devastating speed tore through the City defense for their forward to slot the ball home to make it 1-0, which remained the score at half time.
The pace never relented in the second half and City’s Craig Banks had a good chance, but misdirected his free header in front of goal. City continued to press and reverted to through balls down the centre of the Londoner defense, where one found Ndjanna with the goal at his mercy but he was tripped from behind and it should have been a clear penalty, but was not given.
Both teams played as if their lives depended on it with crunching tackles being hard but fair. A clever passing move by City found forward Denis Matveev in space and he was upended in the penalty box and this time a penalty was given. City’s player of the year Patrice Love strode up and with the keeper stuck to the ground saw his side footed shot go agonizingly pass the wrong side of the post. When chances are few and far between, you cannot afford to miss such a chance.
With fifteen minutes to go City were playing their best football, but the Londoner were having none of it, by just booting the ball away, time wasting or anything else to relieve the pressure. With only a couple of minutes left the Londoner broke and should have secured the match, but with the City players up field a curling cross to their forward was somehow headed wide in front of goal. When the final whistle went the Londoner celebrated over a very hard competitive match being the winners by 1 goal to 0.
Meanwhile on the same day the Pattaya City Res drew 1-1 with the Sporting Club in Bangkok. Both Pattaya City teams are playing away in Bangkok next weekend with a 4 p.m. kick off.