Before the kick-off at Chiang Mai’s 700th Anniversary Stadium, Thailand team manager Nualphan Lamsam announced a cash reward of B2 million for the squad for claiming third place in the prestigious tournament, reports the Bangkok Post.
Nualphan told the players that she wanted them to win the game and claim some FIFA ranking points.
The promise of cash reward proved a big motivation for the War Elephants, who lost to regional foes Malaysia 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out on Thursday following a 1-1 stalemate at the end of 90 minutes.
Trinidad and Tobago, who at No.101 are the highest ranked team in the tournament, were edged 2-1 by Tajikistan, also on Thursday.
The hosts were without injured skipper Chanathip Songkrasin in the match and coach Mano Polking gave starts to Suphanat Mueanta and Jakkaphan Kaewprom.
After Trinidad and Tobago’s Levi Garcia sent a shot wide, the Thais pounced on the first real scoring opportunity they had yesterday.
Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Marvin Phillip’s effort to ward off a shot by Suphanat went straight to unmarked Channarong Promsrikaew and the Thai midfielder had no trouble in putting the home team ahead in the 21st minute.
It was Channarong’s first goal for the national team.
A few minutes later, Garcia threatened again but his header was saved by Thailand goalkeeper Kittipong Phoothawchuek.
Suphanat nearly added the second goal to the Thai tally before the break but was denied by Phillip. The young striker was then wasteful with another opportunity, firing the ball wide over the bar.
Trinidad and Tobago were relentless in their attacks in the second half and were rewarded with the leveller at the 60-minute mark when a Kareem Moses header off a corner was deflected into the goal by Thai defender Kritsada Kaman.
Thailand picked up the match-winning goal after 72 minutes when Channarong set up Supachok Sarachat, who finished off the move with spectacular curler to seal third place for the War Elephants.