Match abandoned after downpour (July 1, 2007)

A half-time heavy downpour forced a suspension of a warm-up friendly between Thailand's Asian Cup squad and Qatar at Rajamangala National Stadium yesterday.

The omen looked ominous as rain greeted the players during the tune-up prior to the match. However, when the game was about to start, the rain stopped and there was not even a semblance of a hint during the half that the friendly, which was the hosts' final warm-up for the upcoming Asian Cup tournament, would last only 45 minutes.

The downpour came immediately after the half-time whistle sounded. The score was 1-1.

After an inspection by Asian Football Confederation [AFC] officials, the field was deemed still suitable to play. However, the officials feared that some objects that were found, including pieces of wood, might harm the players so the cancellation was announced.

National team coach Chanvit Pholchivin conceded that he was disappointed at the premature ending of the match, but said he was pleased with the team's performance.

Chanvit's men fell behind after Hussain Abdulrahman's free-kick put the visitors in front. However, the hosts pegged back immediately when centre-back Jetsada Jitsawad intercepted the ball and fed Terdsak Jaiman to net an equaliser.

"In this game, I wanted to test our four overseas-based players who missed the recent training camp in Germany and also Kiartisak [Senamuang]," said Chanvit.

"They had little time to train with the rest of the team so in the opening period we were a bit sluggish. However, after awhile, we were better and the chances began to flow, with three or four coming from the midfield.

"The attacking play was good but we still have a lot to do with the counter-attack. I was disappointed that the game ended early because I planned to use new tactics in the second half," said Chanvit.

Officials later scheduled the Thai team to play against Qatar again tomorrow in a special seven-minute match, with the venue yet to be announced.

Kitinan Sanguansak
The Nation