Ekaphan in fitness race for Kyrgyzstan clash (December 01, 2006)

Thailand decided to delay the team announcement until the last minute to see if injured striker Ekaphan Inthasen, who missed the first game against Palestine, will be fit for the Kyrgyzstan match. Thailand will play Kyrgyzstan in tomorrow's second group match at the Al Rayyan Sport Centre. The match will kick off at 9.15pm (Thai time).

After a training session yesterday, Thailand coach Charnvit Phalajivin said that players are well prepared.

''Everyone is looking good and have regained their appetite thanks to Thai food catering, sponsored by the Thai Embassy in Doha,'' said the coach, ''We enjoyed the food very much.''

Asking about the injury scare, Charnvit replied: ''Datsakorn Thonglao, Kiatprawut Saiwaew and Teerathep Winothai are fit for the next game.

''My only concern is Ekaphan but we'll have to wait and see until the last minute.

''If Ekaphan doesn't pass fit, we won't risk playing him, but we will instead start with Anon Sangsanoi, who played alongside Teerathep up front in the first match.''

Charnvit added the team also has two other good forwards, a speedy Thana Chanabut and a talented Kraisorn Pancharoen. ''They are perfect replacements and with their skills, they can make the first team anytime.''

Team manager Thavatchai Sajakul is critical of the transportation system. ''Overall it is so far not as good as we expected it to be. It's so inconvenient to travel to the training ground. At times we got to wait for an hour for the shuttle bus. However, it does not affect our players but Thai staff, including me, are now working on planning more effective training schedule.''

Thailand v Kyrgyzstan match will be telecast live by Channel 11 starting 9.15pm.