Thais aim to beat China to boost confidence (May 16, 2007)
An attack-minded Thailand will be looking for a result against China in a friendly today to boost the Kingdom's confidence before the Asian Cup. The match, which is part of Thailand's preparations for Asia's premier tournament, kicks off at 6.30pm at Rajamangala stadium and will be televised live on Channel 7.
Thailand coach Chanvit Phalajivin said his men had only trained for three days for the match but he hoped they would get a good result. Thailand is one of the co-hosts of the Asian Cup along with Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Thailand will be without two overseas-based players _ Sutee Suksomkit and Nirut Surasiang _ who have to play for their clubs in Singapore and Vietnam respectively.
But Thailand will be boosted by Therdsak Chaiman's return to the national side. He will be assisted by Niweat Siriwong and Datsakorn Thonglao.
''China are a strong team and it will be useful for our players to play against one of the best Asian sides,'' Chanvit said.
The coach said Thailand would go on the attack to test his players' potential and to improve their game and tactics.
China are led by Sheffield United midfielder Li Tie. But captain Zheng Zhi, who is heading home after a successful loan spell with relegated Charlton, is not part of the team. Neither is Manchester United striker Dong Fangzhou or Manchester City's Sun Jihai.
Tickets are available at the stadium priced 100 and 200 baht.
Meanwhile, Thailand futsal (five-a-side) team lost 3-2 to Uzbekistan in their last preliminary round match of the Asian Futsal Championship in Osaka, Japan yesterday.
Despite the defeat, Thailand finished top of Group B. However, they are handed a formidable quarter-final assignment against hosts Japan today.
PROBABLE THAILAND TEAM
Kosin Hathairattanakool, Jetsada Jitsawad, Niweat Siriwong, Nattaporn Phanrit, Suree Sukha, Jakkrit Bunkhum, Suchao Nutnum, Tawan Sripan, Therdsak Chaiman, Manit Noyvech and Pipat Tonkanya.