Pattaya United returned to winning ways last weekend with a 5-1 demolition of Samut Songkhram FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya on Sunday, March 8.
Coming off the back of their loss to Thai Honda the previous week, the Dolphins were looking to get back on track against opponents who had also made a stuttering start to the Division 1 season, with just 2 points garnered from their opening three games.
United’s two Serbian recruits for this season, Milan Bubalo and Nikola Komazec, have added a much needed edge to the Dolphins’ attacking play and the former was involved in the best moments for the home team at the start of the game against Samut Songkhram; firstly with a shot wide of the post and then setting up a chance for midfielder Wattana Plainum, whose shot clipped the outside of the visitors’ woodwork before going behind for a goal kick.
Pattaya United’s Nikola Komazec (left) and Milan Bubalo (right) of Serbia celebrate the latter’s goal during first half stoppage time of their Thai Division 1 fixture against Samut Songkhram FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Sunday, March 8.
The Dolphins continued to pile on the pressure and after Komazec’s inswinging free-kick was brilliantly saved by Samut goalkeeper Kouassi in the 30th minute, United’s Korean fullback Ri Kwang-Chon was the first to react to smash the ball home from 5 yards out.
There was to be no respite for the visitors in a half totally dominated by Pattaya. First Bureerat was unlucky to see his flashing header just clear the bar and then, on the stroke of halftime, Komazec played in Bubalo on the left and the winger turned the Samut defence inside out before calmly stroking the ball into the far corner of the net to give United a 2-0 lead.
After the break, the pattern of the game continued much like the first half. Komazec increased United’s lead on 48 minutes following some good wing play by Chaiyawat Buran and then Kittisak Hochin sliced through the Samut defence in the 63rd minute before nonchalantly chipping the ball over Kouassi to give Pattaya an unassailable 4-0 advantage.
The visitors were able to gain a semblance of consolation 10 minutes later when United goalkeeper Piyapatrakitti could only parry a fierce shot from Boonmeerit and Ketkaew pounced to reduce the deficit to three goals.
The home team would have the final say however as Chamratsamee rounded Kouassi with ten minutes to go and stroked the ball into an empty net to give Pattaya a 5-1 lead and their biggest league win in over 12 months.
Pattaya United fans cheer the club’s largest league win for some time.
Even in the early stages of this season, Pattaya are showing far more attacking intent than anything displayed in recent times, something which will come as a welcome relief to loyal Dolphin supporters who, over the previous 2 campaigns, have witnessed their team slip from the lofty heights of the Premier League to become Division 1 strugglers.
United were due to play another home game against Air Force FC on Wednesday, March 11 before the league takes a break until April 4.
In the Thai Premier League, Chonburi FC ‘Sharks’ were held to a 2-2 draw at home against BEC Tero Sasana FC last Sunday. The visitors opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Montenegro forward Boskovic before Chonburi replied with second half strikes from Suttinun Phuk-hom and Leandro in the 51st and 66th minutes. However, BEC would leave the home fans disappointed at the end as Boskovic scored his second of the game in the 80th minute to ensure a share of the points for both teams.
Pre-season favourites Buriram United also slipped up last weekend with a 2-2 draw at Suphanburi to leave Army United top of the table on 10 points after 4 games. Chonburi were due to play at Buriram this past Wednesday, March 11, in their biggest test of the season so far.