SEAGAMES FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT:Thailand meet Burma in opener (October 20, 2007)

Tor Chittinand

Seven-time defending champions Thailand will meet Burma in the curtain-raiser of the SEA Games football tournament in Nakhon Ratchasima in December.

Thailand are in Group A with the other two teams being Indonesia and Cambodia. Group B comprises Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos.

The top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals.

The opening match is in December 2 and there is some concern over the Thai players' fitness as they have to play in the Thailand Premier League up to November 27.

Thailand manager Kittiratt Na Ranong said he would push for the domestic league to end on November 24 so the players would have more time to rest and get together for training.

Thailand coach Thongsuk Sampahangsit admitted that he was under pressure to steer Thailand to their eighth straight SEA Games title as they will be playing on their home soil.