Pattaya United secured their place in next season’s Thai Division 1 with a convincing but ultimately bizarre victory against Roi-Et FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya last Saturday.
United took the lead on the stroke of halftime as forward Cristiano Lopes brought the ball under control on the edge of the Roi-Et penalty area before turning sharply and dispatching a low left-foot shot into the corner of the visitors’ net.
Brazilian Cristiano Lopes (centre) fires Pattaya United ahead against Roi-Et FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, Oct. 25. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)
Roi-Et’s chances of getting a foothold back in the game were dealt a severe blow at the start of the second half as Prasomtong was dismissed from the field for a dangerous challenge on Pattaya midfielder Rapepat Nakphet. Barely 10 minutes later Pattaya virtually put the game to bed as Sarawut Feungdan connected with a left wing cross to put his side 2 goals up.
With Roi-Et’s discipline starting to break down, they lost another man to a red card as Sittilor was sent off for an ugly two-footed lunge on United’s Senala in the 65th minute. The hosts hammered home their numerical advantage 3 minutes later as Lopes once again displayed some sublime skill to dummy a defender before calmly chipping the ball past the Roi-Et keeper to make it 3-0.
Playing the final 20 minutes against nine men, a goal route appeared to be on the cards but Roi-Et had other ideas. In the 70th minute their numbers were reduced to eight as Korean defender Jeong Hyung-Jun took a wild kick at Pattaya’s Chatdanai Joompha and promptly received his marching orders from the referee. Three minutes later Roi-Et defender Hemkeaw went down injured and was unable to continue. With the visitors having used all their substitutes and having only six fit outfield players, the referee was forced to abandon the game under Thai League rules with the result standing in Pattaya’s favour.
United’s final match of the current league season will take place this coming Saturday, Nov. 1, away at Phitsanulok FC. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
At the top of the Thai Premier League table things couldn’t be closer, with Chonburi FC holding a one point advantage over Buriram United with two matches remaining. Chonburi defeated Bangkok United last Sunday, victors over Buriram earlier in the week, in an entertaining match that finished 4-2 in the hosts’ favour. Buriram meanwhile rebounded from their midweek defeat to Bangkok by beating Chainat Hornbills 3-1.
Chonburi were due to play away at Chainat this past Wednesday, Oct. 29, with Buriram also having an away fixture at TOT. This coming Sunday in the final round of matches, Chonburi will play a home game against TOT and Buriram face Police United at the New I-Mobile Stadium. Kick-off time for this weekend’s games is 6 p.m.
|Thai Division 1 Standings – Oct. 26|