United come up short in Isaan

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Pattaya United’s title ambitions were dealt a serious blow last Sunday after they crashed to a 2-0 defeat at struggling Si Sa Ket Muang Thai FC in the hostile environment of the Sri Nakhon Lamduan Games football stadium.

The game started brightly for United and they showed the most attacking ambitions of the two sides for the opening 15 minutes, with Siriwong coming close to opening the scoring from a swerving 30 yard free-kick.

Pattaya United (blue shirts) defend against Si Sa Ket FC at the Sri Nakhon Lamduan Games stadium in Si Sa Ket, Sunday, April 24. Pattaya United (blue shirts) defend against Si Sa Ket FC at the Sri Nakhon Lamduan Games stadium in Si Sa Ket, Sunday, April 24.

Somewhat against the run of play however it was the hosts who grabbed the lead in the 23rd minute.  A left wing free kick was swung into the United penalty area by Ngamcharoen and when the Dolphins failed to clear their lines, the ball dropped to the feet of Brazilian midfielder Victor Amaro who made no mistake to fire the ball past Narit from 10 yards out.

It was hardly a lead the home side deserved but it gave them fresh impetus and the confidence to go on the offensive and ex-United frontman Tana Chanabut almost doubled the advantage on the half-hour mark with a long range free kick that flew just over the United crossbar.

The visitors were caught napping once more just before half-time from an almost identical situation to the first goal.  A left wing free-kick was lofted into the area once more by Ngamcharoen and it somehow evaded all the United defenders to fall kindly onto the head of the home side’s Guy Hubert who nodded the ball over Narit into the back of the net.

It was a big blow for United, coming just before the break, but they started the second half in a positive fashion and carved out scoring chances for both Obatola and Ludovick in quick succession but without ultimately being able to pierce the stubborn Si Sa Ket back line.

The home side almost put the game out of reach on the hour mark after another Ngamcharoen free kick created panic in the Pattaya defence but none of the Si Sa Ket forwards could provide the finishing touch.

United battle manfully to try to get back into the game but the lacked any real punch in the final third of the field and time ran out with the home side holding on for an important 2-0 win.

United remain in seventh place in the league but they are in danger of losing touch with leaders Buriram who head them by 11 points already with more than half of the season remaining.

United face another long away trip this coming weekend to face Chiang Rai on Sunday while second placed Chonburi have a home fixture against BEC Tero Sasana on Saturday.

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