BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
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Thais out to seal semis berth

Thais out to seal semis berth

FOOTBALL: Thailand take on the Philippines in the AFF Suzuki Cup this evening (Dec 14) in a crucial match for both teams for different reasons.

Football
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 14 December 2021, 09:23AM


Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda, centre, and teammates take part in a training session in Singapore yesterday (Dec 13). Photo: Bangkok Post

Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda, centre, and teammates take part in a training session in Singapore yesterday (Dec 13). Photo: Bangkok Post

While a win for Thailand will see the War Elephants book a semi-final ticket, a loss for the Azkals will end their hopes, reports the Bangkok Post.

In other Group A match, tournament hosts Singapore should have few problems against minnows Timor Leste.

“It’s a very important game and it can be a decider for reaching the semi-finals so we’ve focused a lot on recovery and analysis,” Thailand coach Mano Polking said yesterday.

Although the Philippines thrashed Timor Leste 7-0 in their previous game while five-time champions Thailand could only defeat the same opponents 2-0 in their opening match, Polking is not impressed by the Filipinos’ big win.

“I said it before though that the Philippines played a Timor Leste side with many changes and so they didn’t impress me especially considering that Timor didn’t bring on their main players until the second half,” said Polking.

The German-Brazilian tactician said he knows Philippines coach Scott Cooper very well.

“He worked in Thailand and knows the Thai league and its players well,” said former Bangkok United coach Polking.

“There are several Philippine players in the Thai league and although this squad do not have many new generation players, they are strong and we cannot underestimate them at all.”

There has been mixed news regarding Thailand’s players with two withdrawals and a new arrival.

Defender Philip Roller has just arrived from Germany to join the team but goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan has left the squad due to a family issue while Thai-Danish defender Jonathan Khemdee was feeling dizzy at training and returned to his club Odense BK in Denmark.

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Meanwhile, Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda will be trying to become the event’s top scorer of all-time.

With his two goals in Thailand’s 4-0 win against Myanmar on Saturday, Teerasil matched retired Singapore forward Noh Alam Shah’s 17-goal tally.

The Philippines, on their part, enter today’s clash in a confident frame of mind on the back of that thumping 7-0 defeat of Timor Leste.

But they know that the equation remains the same and continual wins are needed after losing to Singapore in their opening match.

That defeat left them trailing Thailand by three points and assistant coach Stewart Hall said yesterday that nothing less than a win will do, especially with the head-to-head record being the tie-breaker should teams finish level on points.

“It was a big confidence boost getting the win in the last match but we need to keep winning,” he said.

“Of course that doesn’t mean that we need to try and win 4-0 or 5-0 but we’re under no false hopes as to what is required and that starts with the win.”

Defending champions Vietnam are in Group B with Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. The top two teams in each group reach the semi-finals.

- Tor Chittinand

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