Late Ukraine winner ends Thailand hopes (August 16, 2007)



TOR CHITTINAND


It was heartbreak for Thailand's football team when they lost 2-1 to the Ukraine thanks to a last minute goal in the semi-final of the Universiade at Supachalasai Stadium yesterday. A tight match looked like it was going to a penalty shoot-out when, in injury time, a shot from the edge of the area by Andriy Zaporozhan deflected off Thai defender Weerayut Jitkuntod and the ball bounced agonisingly past goalkeeper Chatchai Bootprom to put Ukraine into the final.

Thailand will play for the bronze medal tomorrow against Canada who lost 2-1 to Italy in the other semi-final.

The first half was closely fought with both sides missing chances.

It was Ukraine who took the lead in the 19th minute when a corner from Roman Voynarovsky found Amte Stargorodskyy who slotted the ball home.

Thailand fought back well and were level three minutes later when Wuthichai Tatong. headed home a corner by Kittipol Paphunga.

Thailand continued to put on the pressure and missed a golden chance in the 41st minute when Wuthichai blasted the ball wide from close range.

The second half was much the same with Ekaphan Inthasen just shooting wide and Kittipol Paphunga coming close with a free-kick.

As the game moved into injury time Thailand attacked, but were caught on the break and in the quick counter-attack the Thai defence backed off allowing Zaporozhan to shoot and the wicked deflection saw the ball go into the net.

As the Ukraine side celebrated the Thai players understandably looked totally dejected.

Co-manager, Thavatchai Sajakul said he was pleased with the team's performance.

''They have done their best. They had no luck and several chances were missed. We did well to reach the semi-finals.''

Co-manager Dr Jutha Tingsabhat was also happy with the performance.

''We played very well today. This was as far as we really expected to get.''

Thailand will play Canada for third place at the Army stadium tomorrow at 4pm while Ukraine and Italy meet in the final at Supachalasai Stadium at 8.30pm.