Tana returns to haunt United

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Thai Premier League Season 2012

Ex-Pattaya United forward Tana Chanabut led a stirring fight-back by his Esan United (formerly Sisaket FC) team against his old employers last Sunday night at the Nongprue Stadium to earn the struggling northeastern outfit a valuable point from a game they seemed destined to lose.

Pattaya stormed out of the blocks from the opening whistle and Dolphin fans weren’t kept waiting long for the first goal when skipper Niweat Siriwong blasted in a free kick from 25 yards out that sailed past the Esan keeper and into the net.

Pattaya should have gone further ahead as they spurned several good goal-scoring opportunities either side of the break, however, they looked to have sealed all three points when Paul Ekollo stole in behind the Esan defence in the 76th minute to guide the ball past the stranded keeper.

It seemed that all Pattaya had to do was maintain possession of the ball to run down the clock, however former Dolphin star Chanabut had other ideas and with 10 minutes to go he pulled a goal back for the visitors after capitalizing on a dreadful fumble by Narit in the Pattaya goal.

Worse was to follow for the home team when their two goal lead was wiped out completely in the dying minutes of the game by Esan’s Jiewkuntod, who directed a near post cross into the Pattaya goal with a smart glancing header.

There was still time for some more drama at the end of the game after the referee adjudged an Esan defender to have impeded Ekollo in the box deep into injury time and pointed to the penalty spot.  Ittipol Poolsap ran up to strike a clean shot towards the corner of the net but Munze in the Esan goal flung himself spectacularly to his right to pull off a dramatic save.  The referee’s final whistle sounded immediately after to bring an exciting game to an end.

With Buriram United having no match last weekend, Muang Thong United took advantage to leapfrog them at the top of the standings with a 2-0 win over BBCU.  Chonburi FC consolidated their bright start to the season with a 3-1 home win over Osotspa.

Pattaya United’s next fixture is an away match against BBCU in Bangkok on Saturday, May 5.  Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Thai Premier League Standings April 29

Team P W D L GD Pts
Muang Thong United 7 4 3 0 8 15
Buriram United 5 4 1 0 10 13
Bangkok Glass 7 3 4 0 7 13
Chonburi 6 3 3 0 10 12
BEC Tero Sasana 6 4 0 2 3 12
Wuachon United 7 3 3 1 2 12
Police United 7 3 1 3 -1 10
Osotspa 7 3 0 4 -2 9
Pattaya United 7 2 3 2 -2 9
Army United 7 2 3 2 -1 9
Chainat 6 1 4 1 0 7
Thai Port 7 2 1 4 -8 7
Chiangrai United 7 1 3 3 -5 6
BBCU 7 1 3 3 -5 6
TOT 7 1 2 4 -3 5
Samut Songkhram 7 1 2 4 -5 5
Esan United 7 1 2 4 -6 5
TTM Chiangmai 6 0 4 2 -2 4
Results:  (Sat 28/04/12) Samut Songkhram 1 v 2 Thai Port; TTM Chiangmai 0 v 0 Bangkok Glass; Chiangrai United 1 v 1 Chainat; (Sun 29/04/12) Pattaya United 2 v 2 Esan United; Wuachon United 2 v 0 Army United; TOT 1 v 2 Police United; Muang Thong United 2 v 0 BBCU; Chonburi 3 v 1 Osotspa.