Leandro double denies vital points for United

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Pattaya United slipped closer to the Thai Premier League relegation dogfight after relinquishing a two goal lead at the Thai Army Sports Stadium in Bangkok last Saturday.

The Dolphins, looking for their first league win since April 16, opened the scoring with a spectacular 30 yard free kick from club skipper Niweat Siriwong on the 35 minute mark, but on the stroke of half time Army United equalized after they were awarded a penalty when Leandro was fouled by Yamamoto in the box.  The Brazilian forward picked himself off the floor to clinically dispatch the resultant spot kick past Narit in the Pattaya goal.

Pattaya United’s Niweat Siriwong, center, celebrates after giving his team the lead at the Army Sports Stadium in Bangkok, Saturday, June 4. (Photo/Ariyawat Nuamsawat) Pattaya United’s Niweat Siriwong, center, celebrates after giving his team the lead at the Army Sports Stadium in Bangkok, Saturday, June 4. (Photo/Ariyawat Nuamsawat)

Any thoughts that United would bow down following this setback were immediately dispelled at the outset of the second half when they retook the lead through yet another long range effort from Siriwong; this time from fully 35 yards out that seemed to wrong-foot Phanprom in the Army goal before snaking into the bottom corner of the net.

The Dolphins appeared to have all three points firmly in the bag after 65 minutes when striker Patipol Phetwiset ran onto a loose ball in the Army penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to give Pattaya a two goal cushion.

The joy was to be short lived however as first Rafael Santana pulled a goal back on 68 minutes, tapping in a rebound after Narit had failed to hold onto a long range effort, and then Santana’s compatriot Leandro notched his second goal of the game just 7 minutes later as he connected with a left wing cross to put his team back on level terms.

When the final whistle came it signaled the end of a highly entertaining game but ultimately one that Pattaya United players and fans will look back on as a missed opportunity.  The draw leaves United in thirteenth place in the league standings but more importantly just six points above the drop zone.

The Dolphins will be hoping to regroup over the summer break but before that they have the matter of an away match against defending champions Muang Thong United to contend with on Sunday, June 12.  Kick off for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m.

At the top end of the table, Chonburi FC missed a chance to gain some ground on leaders Buriram PEA after the ‘Sharks’ were held to a 1-1 draw against Muang Thong.  Buriram were beaten for the first time this season, away at Sisaket, but still hold a seven point lead at the top, albeit having played one game more than Chonburi.

Bangkok Glass have now occupied third place in the league standings after they secured a 2-0 away win at struggling Khon Kaen.

Thai Premier League Standings (June 4)
Team P W D L F A Pts.
Buriram PEA 16 12 3 1 26 6 39
Chonburi FC 15 9 5 1 34 12 32
Bangkok Glass FC 16 8 4 4 27 17 28
Police United 15 7 5 3 16 13 26
Muang Thong United 14 7 4 3 16 10 25
Si Sa Ket FC 15 6 5 4 18 17 23
Thai Port FC 16 6 5 5 17 16 23
Osotspa M-150 16 5 7 4 24 19 22
BEC Tero Sasana 16 7 1 8 21 19 22
Army United 15 5 6 4 21 15 21
Chiang Rai United 16 5 4 7 19 20 19
SCG Samut Songkhram 16 4 7 5 15 18 19
Pattaya United 16 4 6 6 16 18 18
TTM FC Phichit 16 5 3 8 15 20 18
TOT SC 16 5 1 10 9 24 16
Khon Kaen FC 16 3 3 10 14 32 12
Navy FC 16 2 5 9 11 30 11
Sri Racha FC 15 2 4 10 11 23 10
Results: Khon Kaen FC 0, Bangkok Glass 2; Chonburi FC 1, Muang Thong United 1; Si Sa Ket FC 1, Buriram PEA 0; Police United 0, Thai Port FC 1; Army United 3, Pattaya United 3; Chiang Rai United 2, TOT SC 0; BEC Tero Sasana 1, Osotspa M-150 3; Sri Racha FC 1, TTM FC Phichit 2; SCG Samut Songkhram 2, Navy FC 0