Pattaya United were unable to end their disappointing Division 1 campaign on a high note as they found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline in Phitsanulok last Saturday. Meanwhile, in the Premier League, Chonburi FC could only draw their final match against TOT on Sunday as Buriram retained the title.
In their final match of the season, Pattaya were 2 goals down inside 50 minutes at the Central Stadium in Phitsanulok. Juntawong opened the scoring for the hosts in the 11th minute, latching onto a lofted pass by Akaradech to head the ball over United goalkeeper Sutprasert and into an empty net, and the lead was doubled soon after the halftime break as Limkiatsathaporn powered the ball in from the edge of the area after United failed to clear a left wing cross.
Pattaya United’s Aphichet Thongchai (left) and Phitsanulok FC’s Santiphap Ratniyom (right) challenge for the ball during their Thai Division 1 fixture at the Central Stadium in Phitsanulok, Saturday, Nov. 1.( Photo courtesy Phitsanulok FC)
Any thoughts that United’s players might be going through the motions were soon dispelled however as first Lopes pulled a goal back on 55 minutes with a fine header and then just 2 minutes later United leveled the match with a clever left foot finish from Aphichet Thongchai.
The scores remained tied until the frantic final 5 minutes of the match. In the 88th minute, Phitsanulok broke forward and Yod sent a superb 25-yard curling shot past Sutprasert to give the hosts the lead once more. The home team then effectively sealed the game in the first minute of injury time as they caught United on the break and Supakorn Naknoi produced a delightful chip to make the score 4-2.
In a mad final 2 minutes of stoppage time the home team were reduced to 10 men when Akaradech was sent off for a second bookable offence and United conjured up a consolation goal from Yoon Si-Ho with the final kick of the game.
The loss left United in 14th place in the league standings and they will certainly hope to produce better performances next season.
In the Premier League, title chasing Chonburi FC lost top spot with a midweek draw at Chainat Hornbills while rivals Buriram won 2-0 away at TOT. It meant that Chonburi had to win their final match last Sunday and hope that Buriram would slip up against Police United. As it transpired, Chonburi’s 1-1 draw with TOT proved to be irrelevant as the league leaders overcame Police 2-1, with Spain’s David Rochela scoring the decisive penalty for Buriram to tie up their second Premier League crown in row. Chonburi have now finished as runners-up for 3 of the last 4 seasons and will surely be looking to go one better next term.
|Thai Division 1 Standings – Nov. 1|