Thailand face Palestine (05/07/2011)

Thailand will meet Palestine in a World Cup qualifer after the Palestinians finished off Afghanistan on Sunday.

Palestine held Afghanistan to a 1-1 draw at home, going through 3-1 on aggregate courtesy of a 2-0 away win in the first leg in Asia's first qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup.

Thailand will host Palestine in Buri Ram on July 23 and the second leg is scheduled for July 28. It will be Winfried Schaefer's first assignment as Thailand's coach.

It will be a tricky tie for Thailand whose U23 side edged Palestine on penalties after a draw over two legs in an Olympic qualifier earlier this year.

The Thai U23 team were then booted out after it was found that they had used a suspended player. Thailand blamed the match commissioner for not informing them that the player was suspended.

Against Palestine this time, Thailand have found that Teerathorn Boonmathan is suspended for the first leg.Assistant national coach Surachai Jaturapattarapong said Thailand had received a videotape of Palestine matches against Afghanistan and also got information from Charnwit Phalajivin who coached Thailand's Olympic side.

Winfried Schaefer, who last week signed a three-year contract to coach Thailand, has brought two specialists to work with him.

Shaefer, who signed a three-year contract to coach Thailand last week, welcomed fellow Germans Stefan Brasas and Norbert Hauenstein on Sunday.

Brasas, a former Werder Bremen player, will be Thailand's goalkeeper coach, while Hauenstein worked with Bayern Munich as fitness coach for 12 years.

"Stefan is a good coach. He can push players to another level," Schaefer said.

"It is important for a team to have a fitness coach. Players must be strong and ready to play when they are on the pitch or on the bench."

The national players will have to report to Schaefer on Friday but their training will begin next Monday as several players have to play in Cup matches this weekend .

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