Pattaya United put up a spirited display against Division 1 leaders Nakhon Ratchasima last Saturday but were ultimately undone by a contentious 65th minute goal from Korat’s Dantrai Longjamnong.
In front of a boisterous crowd of just under 18,000 spectators at the 5th December Stadium in Korat, the home team not surprisingly started out the strongest but the Pattaya defence remained resolute throughout a first half that offered little in the way of goalmouth action at either end of the field.
Early in the second half Korat had the ball in the Pattaya net twice in quick succession but on both occasions the ‘goals’ were correctly ruled out for offside.
Pattaya United midfielder Rapepat Nakphet (left) attempts to shield the ball from Nakhon Ratchasima’s Kraikiat Beadtaku (center) and Shota Koide (right) during their Thai Division 1 football match at the 5th December Stadium in Korat, Saturday, Oct. 4. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)
The talking point of the game came just after the hour mark when Longjamnong headed the ball towards the Pattaya goal from a corner kick only to see it headed off the line and onto the crossbar by a United defender. The referee and linesman immediately signaled a goal but replays later suggested that the ball had at no point crossed the goal line.
It was a cruel blow to the United players who had nullified most of Korat’s attacking threat and were looking like coming away from the game with at least a point. United created some chances of their own late in the game as they chased an equalizer but luck was not on their side on this occasion.
The win gave Korat a convincing lead at the top of the table but left United at the lower end of the standings and with a few anxious matches to negotiate to secure their Division 1 status for next season. United’s next fixture is on Sunday, Oct. 12 when they entertain visiting Saraburi FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
|Thai Division 1 Standings – Oct. 5|