THA 0-0 JOR Ė Time running out for Thais (÷7 January 2010)

THAILAND - Thailandís hopes of reaching the 2011 AFC Asian Cup were dealt a blow as they were held to a goalless draw by Jordan at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Wednesday.

A victory for either side would have put them in a strong position to claim one of the two qualifying spots in Group E but neither were able to make the crucial breakthrough in a game of few clear-cut chances.

Iran's victory over Singapore in the other game in the group means Thailand climb into second place but will likely need to avoid defeat at the group leaders in their final qualifying match to have a chance of securing their place at the finals in Doha.

Torrential rain prior to the match had delayed kick off by 30 minutes but when action got underway it was Jordan who appeared to adapt quickest to the resultant heavy pitch.

Alsaify Odai smartly knocked the ball beyond Panupong Wongsa to go through on goal in the fifth minute but the defender quickly recovered to smash the ball away for a corner just as Odai was about to pull the trigger.

Deeb Abdallah then almost profited when a defender misjudged a clearance but he did not react quickly enough and the danger was averted.

But Thailand weathered that early pressure and it was Bryan Robsonís side that produced the first shot on goal in the 10th minute when Sutee Suksomkit headed over the bar.

Suchao Nutnum then saw his rasping drive expertly cleared by Jordan skipper Aquel Hatem, who lashed out his leg at the last minute to deflect the ball away for a corner.

Chances were at a premium after that early flurry with Mohammad Jamal striking a free kick high and wide in the 29th minute while Suchao should have done better for Thailand in stoppage time but his low effort inside the area lacked power.

Teeratep Winothai (pictured) fired wide six minutes into the second half for the hosts before the striker had a claim for a penalty waved away in the 66th minute when the tumbled in area when under pressure from a defender.

Substitute Ahmad Halim tried his luck from distance for Jordan three minutes later but his well-struck effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Therdsak Chaiman should have done better for Thailand 13 minutes from time when a pass found him unmarked on the edge of the area but the veteran forward compounded to send his shot high over the bar.

Thailand pressed in the closing stages in a bid to snatch a vital winner and Narongchai Vachiraban attempted a speculative curled effort from 25 yards that goalkeeper Amer Shafi had covered before Kirati Keawsombit headed wide from a corner.

But they were unable to find the winner leaving them facing a daunting match against Iran in Tehran likely to determine whether they will be at the AFC Asian Cup next year.