A goal six minutes into injury time by Guinea midfielder Moussa Sylla saw Pattaya United salvage a 2-2 home draw against Chiangmai FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya last Saturday, August 23.
United came closest to scoring in the opening exchanges of the match when Benpard’s free-kick struck the inside of the Chiangmai goalpost and rebounded out to safety, but it was the visitors who made the initial breakthrough eight minutes before halftime as Pipat Thonkanya latched onto a clever through ball from Nontalee to fire a shot high into the United goal.
Pattaya United’s Cristiano Lopes (left) fires a shot in on the Chiangmai FC goal during their Thai Division 1 encounter at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, August 23. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)
After the break, the Dolphins didn’t waste any time in leveling up the scores. Barely five minutes after the restart Chatdanai Joompha powered down the United right wing and when his shot was only partially parried by Chiangmai keeper Manop, the ball fell to United’s Brazilian striker Cristiano Lopes who side-footed the ball home.
Parity remained in the game until the final minute of normal time when Chiangmai midfielder Angelo Machuca found himself totally unmarked in the United area and directed a firm header past Sankla for what he and his teammates must surely have thought was the winning goal.
The Dolphins had other ideas however and in the last seconds of injury time United won a free-kick out on the right; when the cross came in from Yoon Si-Ho, Sylla swung a hopeful leg at the ball and sent it into the bottom corner of the Chiangmai goal to send the home players and fans into raptures.
United fans celebrate another late comeback. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)
The point sees United maintain their mid-table position in 10th place and eleven points clear of the relegation zone. The Dolphin’s next league game is on August 31, away at Trat FC. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
In the Thai Premier League, Chonburi closed to within a point of league leaders Buriram after recording an impressive 2-0 victory over fierce rivals Muang Thong United on Saturday while Buriram, playing a day later, could only garner a point from a 1-1 draw at Army. Chonburi took the lead in their match in the 66th minute through a superb free-kick from Brazilian Thiago Cunha and completed the victory with a goal in stoppage time from club captain Pipob On-Mo.
The Premier League now moves into its mid-season break with the teams returning to action on October 8.
|Thai Division 1 Standings – August 24|