Despite the result of Pattaya United’s latest Thai Premier League defeat last weekend there were still some positives to be taken from the match: An energetic atmosphere created by over 9,000 boisterous fans, a well-appointed venue, no play-acting, no cards, lots of goals and some highlight moments to remember. However, there was the other side.
For Pattaya, two quick early goals from the hosts made their already difficult task seem more like a mountain to climb and it was an early reminder of the quality the Dolphins were up against.
United Coach Hak-Chul had several of his most important players unavailable for the match and the thinly stretched squad was tested to the maxi\mum by the rampant Kirins.
Muangthong, despite dominating the game, did not appear to reach fifth gear and Cleiton Silva, whilst deserving his current place at the top of the league scoring charts was certainly guilty of squandering numerous chances in this match, although he did get on the scoresheet.
Pattaya started the game without several regular players and the disjointedness showed. The first goal they conceded came via a decent cross from the left to Jimenez who headed the Kirins ahead in the 11th minute. Four minutes later, the second was almost a repeat but this time Cleiton got the goal. Defensively the Dolphins looked all at sea but Jae-ho and Francisco marshaled the backline well enough to prevent any further goals in the opening half hour.
Just before halftime, when it seemed that Pattaya had weathered the storm and were getting back into the game, Muangthong were awarded a free just outside the Dolphins’ 18-yard box. Theerathon stepped up and delivered a sweet low curling shot around the wall to beat the United keeper for a well-deserved third goal.
The second half began with Pattaya showing more intent and they were rewarded with a scrambled goal off Francisco to reduce the deficit to two. This seemed to lift the spirits of the visitors but a moment of madness in the 56th minute, with goalkeeper Tossaporn being caught in no-man’s land, saw Teerasil slot the ball home to restore the Kirins’ three-goal advantage.
This meeting was the worst defeat for Pattaya by Muangthong for some time and the Dolphins will be hoping to regroup and bounce back for their next league match, at home to 5th place Ratchaburi on September 10. United currently sit three points and two places above the relegation zone with 6 matches left to play.