Pattaya United’s league ambitions, along with their supporters’ emotions, have taken something of a roller-coaster ride over the past 3 games. A confidence boosting 5-0 home victory over TTM Lopburi on May 2 was swiftly followed up with a hugely disappointing 2-1 loss at bottom club Ayutthaya only three days later. Just when it seemed the Dolphins momentum was grinding to a halt however, they produced arguably their best performance of the season to trounce runaway league leaders Police United 5-1 in Pattaya last Saturday, May 9.
Police brought an undefeated record to the Nongprue Stadium last weekend and both sides could have taken an early lead as chances were created at both ends in a frantic start to the match. The deadlock was broken on the half hour mark when Police defender Rangsan Iam-Wiroj handled Bubalo’s goal-bound shot in the area and Komazec stepped up to convert the resultant spot kick to give Pattaya the lead.
Pattaya United’s Supravee Miprathang (left) challenges for the ball against Police United’s Surachart Sareepim (right) during their League Division 1 fixture at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, May 9. (Photo courtesy Police United FC)
On loan Serbian forward Komazec went on to double the home team’s advantage and his own personal tally just 4 minutes later as he connected with an inch perfect cross from Bureerat to head the ball past Police goalkeeper Songsangchan and make the score 2-0 going into the half-time break.
The game was less open at the start of the second half as both defences tightened up their game, however the match and points were effectively sealed in the 69th minute when Pattaya’s Bubalo beat the Police offside trap and ran through on goal before delightfully chipping the ball over the advancing Songsangchan to put his team three up. It was the winger’s 12th goal of the season and makes him now the second top scorer in the league.
The visitors saw a brief window of opportunity back into the match open up for them just one minute later when straight from the restart they advanced down Pattaya’s right flank and club captain Sareepim ghosted unmarked into the box to head home and reduce the deficit to 3-1.
It was to be the briefest of respites for Police however as only three minutes later Pattaya restored their three goal cushion via a looping header from Korean defender Ri Kwang-Chon.
To compound the visitors’ misery, Sareepim was sent off soon after for a second bookable offence and with seven minutes remaining Peruvian midfielder Roberto Merino curled a beautiful free-kick over the Police wall and into the top corner of the net to make the score 5-1 and set the seal on an outstanding performance by the home team.
“Our last game was very bad, against Ayutthaya, and so this win today is very important for us,” said Serbian striker Komazec afterwards. “We won today, 5-1, and Police are the best team in the league, so this is a big 3 points for us.”
The win lifts United into eighth place in the league on 18 points. Pattaya’s next match is on Wednesday, May 20 away at Pichit FC.