In an entertaining Thai Premier League game at the Nongprue Stadium on March 16, locally based Pattaya United gave up a 3-1 lead midway through the second half as their battling opponents Chiangrai United staged a thrilling comeback.
The visitors took the lead early in the first half through a powerful downward header from Bruno but this was cancelled out on 37 minutes as Pattaya midfielder Pathompol got on the end of a breakaway and scored from an acute angle.
Pattaya United’s Brazilian forward Junior (9) swerves past challenges from Chaingrai defenders during their Thai Premier League game at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Wednesday, March 16. (Photo/Pattaya United FC)
An energetic second half start saw Chaingrai having a goal ruled out for offside in the 52nd minute – the Dolphins using this defensive tactic quite effectively throughout the game though, at times, the officials’ calls appeared questionable.
Dolphins captain Tanasak led by example, shepherding a rebound off a Soony Saad free-kick to give his team a 2-1 advantage and Pattaya then brought on forward Wongsakorn for defender Phranyu in the 59th minute, which paid dividends two minutes later with Soony providing the assist for a Pinto Junior goal from range. Both teams were playing for the referee’s call which did not work for Chiang Rai, who were caught ball watching on several occasions.
The number of Brazilian players’ presence in the game was felt soon after when Chiangrai’s Rungrath’s cross to Danilo was initially fumbled by the Pattaya goalkeeper for an easy rebound goal to the visitors.
With the game in the balance at 3-2 both teams began to indulge in some fierce challenges, some of them fair and some not, and the award of a dubious penalty to the visitors in the 70th minute did nothing to ease tempers in the Dolphins’ ranks. Danilo spot-kick was initially saved by Pattiwat but the Brazilian forward tapped in the rebound to put Chiangrai level in the match.
The visitors had chances to win the game in the closing minutes but the opportunities were spurned and both teams had to settle for a share of the points.
After two narrow losses followed by two draws, Pattaya United will probably be expecting to win their next two league games but they face a tough fixture next up when they travel to Sukhothai FC on March 30.
In AIS League 2 matches last week, Inter Pattaya secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over Ban Bueng United at Pattana Sport Club Stadium in Sriracha, while Pattaya FC scored a 2-0 win over Pathumthani.