Thailand lose to Italy in group opener (October 01, 2008)



TOR CHITTINAND



Thailand put up a brave fight before losing 1-0 to Italy in their opening match at the 2008 Fifa Futsal (five-a-side) World Cup in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. Captain Grana scored from the spot after 15 minutes to seal the win for the 2004 runners-up in Group B.


Thailand, who were without best player Anucha Munjarern through injury, were unfortunate to finish empty-handed as Prasert Innui's penalty kick hit a post just before half-time.


In an entertaining match, both sides had equal scoring chances. The Italians, who are ranked third in the world, broke the deadlock when Panomkorn Saisorn pulled Foglia in the area to concede a penalty.


Thailand are playing in their third straight finals and aim to reach the second round for the first time.


The other three teams in Group B are Portugal, Paraguay and the United States.


Three teams from each group advance to the knock-out stages of te competition.