United lose Division 1 opener in Phuket

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Pattaya United’s first taste of Division 1 football ended in disappointment last weekend as they were consigned to a 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Phuket FC on Sunday.  

The home team started much the brighter and should have taken the lead on 22 minutes when they were awarded a penalty kick after Pattaya midfielder Tanet Benpard upended his opponent in the area.  Brazilian Ney Fabiano stepped up to take the resultant spot kick but his shot hit the foot of the Pattaya goalpost and flew out to safety.

Pattaya United line up prior to their Division 1 opening fixture against Phuket FC, Sunday, Feb. 23. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)Pattaya United line up prior to their Division 1 opening fixture against Phuket FC, Sunday, Feb. 23. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)

Phuket continued to dominate the first half proceedings and were guilty of missing some more guilt edged opportunities; Brazilian midfielder Eber being the worst culprit as he fired over the bar with the goal seemingly at his mercy.

Quite surprisingly the score remained 0-0 at half-time but once the second half got underway it didn’t take long for the home team to break the deadlock.  One the hour mark, the ball was whipped into the Pattaya area from the right wing and Dolphins’ keeper Sankla totally mistimed his jump to leave Fabiano the simplest of tasks to bundle the ball into the back of the net from 5 yards out.

The momentum of the game shifted after the goal as Phuket took their foot off the gas and Pattaya carved out their two best chances of the match in the closing minutes; Nakphet was twice put through on goal but failed to hit the mark either time and Phuket held on to get their season off to a winning start.

Pattaya United’s next Division 1 fixture is on Saturday, March 8 at home against Ayutthaya FC.  Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.