Bronze medal for Thailand (August 18, 2007)



Thailand's football team claimed the Universiade bronze medal by beating Canada in a penalty shoot-out after the score was 1-1 at full time in the play-off for third place at the Army Stadium yesterday.

The Thai side won the shoot-out 5-3 to earn their first-ever football medal at the Universiade.

After a fairly even first half, the teams went in at the interval with the score 0-0.

Canada, who lost 4-1 to Thailand in the preliminary round, came out in determined fashion in the second half and were rewarded quickly when a long ball from Nicolas Perugini found Luca Bellisomo who banged the ball home to give Canada a 1-0 lead.

The Canadians made the mistake of packing their defence after taking the lead and were caught out in the 72nd minute when Ekaphan Inthasen finished off a good run with a left-footed shot which beat the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.

Both teams strove to get the winner but the game finally went to penalties in which Thailand prevailed 5-3.

On target for Thailand were Weerayut Jitkuntod, Panupong Wongsa, Kittipol Paphunga, Wuthichai Tatong and Anon Sangsanoi who hit the winning penalty.

Steve Frazao was the unfortunate Canadian player whose shot was saved by Chatchai Bootprom.

Thailand co-manager Thavatchai Sajakul said it was a great achievement by the Thai team.

"They made history by winning bronze. It was a great performance to reach the semi-finals."

Jutha Tingsabhat, the other co-manager, echoed Thavatchai's comments: "We are very happy to win the bronze."

Each of the Thai players will receive 200,000 baht for their efforts.

In the final, Ukraine beat Italy 1-0.

In the women's final, North Korea beat Russia 1-0.