- AFC Futsal C'ship: Chinese Taipei 2-5 Thailand22:02 | 04/05/2014
Thailand maintained their 100% record at the AFC Futsal Championship 2014 following a 5-2 win against a spirited Chinese Taipei in Group C at Phu Tho Stadium on Saturday evening.
Thailand started brightly and Suphawat Thueanklang, who scored a hat-trick in Thursday’s 7-1 win over Malaysia, opened the scoring for the 2012 runners-up after just three minutes before goals from Jetsada Chudech and Piyapan Ratana put Victor Hermans’ side in a commanding position at half-time.
Kritsada Wongkaeo and Jirawat Sornwhichian also found the net for Thailand in the second half, with Chinese Taipei claiming consolation goals through Lo Chih-An and Huang Cheng-Tsung having lost their opening game 8-5 to Lebanon.
“I am not so happy, we did not play well,” said Thailand coach Hermans, who still needs to see his side claim a positive result against Lebanon on Monday to be certain of a place in the quarter-finals.
“I am asking every time to concentrate, but we did not. But in the end we won, and I think we deserved to win.
“Chinese Taipei had a very good strategy and played a lot of long balls, but we did not play well.
“My players were playing like it was training. They can be friends before and after the game, but during the game, they must not be friends.”
Suphawat did not take long to get off the mark following his heroics against Malaysia as he turned Chang Chien-Ying to fire past Pan Wen-Chieh and into the top corner after three minutes.
Jetsada then doubled Thailand’s lead a minute later when, with his back to goal, he ran across the edge of the penalty area before turning to hit a hard low shot into the bottom corner.
And the third goal came on eight minutes with Jetsada turning provider to set-up Piyapan on the sideline and he cut back inside before shooting into the top corner.
Chinese Taipei, though, never dropped their heads and restricted Thailand for the remainder of the half and even created several opportunities through Chang Hao-Wei and Liu Chi-Chao
And after Liu was again denied by Thailand goalkeeper Asming Talek at the start of the second half, the pressure finally paid off and the breakthrough arrived after 23 minutes as Lo tapped in from close range.
But the goal gave Thailand a much needed wake-up call and they soon restored their three goal lead less than a minute later as Kritsada played a neat one-two with Suphawat before finding the net.
And Thailand’s fifth arrived in the 33rd minute when Kritsada laid the ball back to Jirawat to score his third goal of the tournament.
Chinese Taipei refused to give-up though, and reduced the deficit again 30 second later when a cross-field ball from Weng Wei-Pin found Huang open at the back post to tap home his third of the tournament.
But Chinese Taipei could not find another goal and Thailand looked the more likely to score in the closing minutes with Kritsada forcing substitute goalkeeper Shih Shin-An into several good saves.
“Thailand gave us a wonderful game,” said Chinese Taipei coach Chang Wu-Yeh, who now must re-group his side to face Malaysia at Ton Duc Thang University Stadium on Monday with a place in the quarter-finals still a possibility despite two defeats.
“We let too many goals in during the first half so in the second half we wanted to try and tie the game and we tried to attack and that left us exposed.”
According to AFC
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