Dolphins shock defeat leaves question mark over team’s League 1 ambitions

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Pattaya United’s Suphanan Bureerat (center) evades the challenge of Bangkok United defenders during the League 1 fixture at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Friday, March 16. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)
Pattaya United’s Suphanan Bureerat (center) evades the challenge of Bangkok United defenders during the League 1 fixture at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Friday, March 16. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)

Pattaya United slipped to a disappointing 4-3 home defeat at the hands of Bangkok United on Friday, March 16 as the hosts threw away a 2-0 half-time lead and a second half man advantage to fall to a third defeat of the Thai League 1 season.

In front of a small but enthusiastic crowd, Pattaya opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Srinawong cleverly controlled the ball in the Bangkok area and struck a first time volley past Falkesgaard in the visitors’ goal.

The home team enjoyed the greater share of possession in the opening half and doubled their lead on 33 minutes when Brazilian forward Lukian converted a penalty, sending Falkesgaard the wrong way from the spot.

Going into the break 2-0 up, Pattaya appeared to be in cruise control and heading to a third straight league victory but the second half turned into a nightmare for the hosts.

Bangkok pulled a goal back on 51 minutes when Dolphins goalkeeper Khammai failed to hold on to a fierce cross-shot and substitute Sumrei tapped in from close range.  Pattaya’s lead was wiped out altogether just 6 minutes later after Vander scored from the penalty spot and the game was level at 2-2 with an hour gone.

With the home team’s earlier dominance becoming little more than a distant memory the Dolphins were handed a possible lifeline when Bangkok’s Brazilian defender Everton was red-carded in the 75th minute.  The man advantage seemed to work against the hosts however as they all but collapsed in the face a spirited Bangkok revival and the visitors score twice more in quick succession, through Vander and Purisai.

Dolphin fans try to rally their team against Bangkok United. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)
Dolphin fans try to rally their team against Bangkok United. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)

With virtually the final kick of the game Praisuwan scored a superb free-kick from the edge of the Bangkok area but it was too little too late for Pattaya and their supporters were left in stunned disbelief after witnessing the turnaround of fortunes.

Pattaya dropped to eighth place in the league standings with nine points from six matches played while Bangkok leapfrogged above them to sixth spot on eleven points.  Pattaya United are next due to face Bangkok Glass in League 1 action on March 28 and will take on Suphanburi at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya on Saturday, March 31.  Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm.