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Thailand eye draw in Saitama

FOOTBALL: As Japan sharpen their knives in the expectation of a big win, Thailand coach Kiatisak Senamuang says a draw in tomorrow’s (Mar 28) World Cup qualifier would be a considerable feat for his team.


Bangkok Post

Monday 27 March 2017, 12:01PM

Nurul Sriyankem, left, during training. Photo: Supakit Wisetanuphong
Nurul Sriyankem, left, during training. Photo: Supakit Wisetanuphong

“Getting a point against Japan would be a great achievement. Getting three points would be even better and the boys know it,” said Kiatisak following a light training session yesterday (Mar 26) when a light downpour dipped the mercury to 4-5C in Saitama.

Kiatisak added that his players are determined to put on a good performance against Japan in their seventh Group B game of the final phase of Asian qualifiers although they all know it will be a very tough match against one of Asia’s best teams.

“We have nothing to lose at this stage,” admitted Kiatisak. “We might lose on Tuesday [tomorrow] but we will give it a go.

“To have a chance to play against Japan who have been to the World Cup many many times will be an invaluable experience for our players.”

Meanwhile, striker Adisak Kraisorn has been urging his teammates to try and pull off a surprise result tomorrow.

“We have to forget about the Saudi Arabia game,” said the SCG Muang Thong United ace. “You never know what’s going to happen in football. If we stick together and give it a go, we might actually be able to pull off a good result.”

Football Association of Thailand Somyot Poompunmuang is also in Japan to boost the morale of the national team.

Unit - 27

Chonburi midfielder Nurul Sriyankem joined the squad in Japan yesterday as a replacement for suspended Thailand captain Theerathon Bunmathan.

Japan playmaker Keisuke Honda said Japan would not take Thailand lightly in a game they should win comfortably.

“It’s a dangerous sign. We need to sharpen up and go into the game thinking it will be a more difficult game than we think,” he said.

“We need to stick to the basics, like opting for the easy pass and not doing anything fancy like trying to take it past a bunch of people. Thailand can play, full stop.

“They’ll sit back and the way we play now, we’re probably better when opponents take the game to us. I think it will be tough because we won’t have opportunities to counter-attack.”

Read original story here.



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