Thailand hungry for success (November 20, 2007)



TOR CHITTINAND

Thailand aim to reach Asia's final qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup after advancing to the third stage.

The Kingdom defeated Yemen 1-0 in the return leg in Bangkok on Sunday for 2-1 aggregate in the second qualifying round for a place in the third round which is the first group stage.

Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand, said he is now targeting the final qualifying stage.

The third qualifying round comprises 20 teams. They will be divided into five groups of four with Australia, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Iran the top seeds in each group.

The top two teams from each group advance to the final stage. The 10 teams will be divided into two groups of five. The top two sides reach the 2010 World Cup finals and the fifth meet an Oceania team a play-off for another berth.

Worawi knows that the third qualifying stage will be tough for Thailand who will face one of the top seeds. The Kingdom could also meet the likes of China, North Korea and Middle Eastern sides.

The FAT chief said Thailand must be better prepared than the previous two rounds but he would not send the squad to train in Europe where the weather is too cold for Thai players.

The King's Cup in Bangkok will be used as a warm-up alongside friendlies home and aboard.

The third qualifying round begins in February and the draw will be made in South Africa on Sunday.