Thailand scrape past Burma (14/07/2011)

Winfried Schaefer got off to a winning _ but unconvincing start _ as coach of Thailand as the national side could only edge Burma 1-0 in a warm-up match in Buri Ram last night.

Schaefer could not have asked for a better start as Teerasil Dangda gave the home side the lead right after the kick-off at I-Mobile stadium in Thailand's first game under the German.

Thailand squandered numerous chances to extend the advantage. But they were also under pressure from the Burmese who came close to spoiling Schaefer's party on several occasions.

"It was a good match. But in the second half, we allowed Burma to attack. We defended well but the behaviour of our defenders was not so good," Schaefer said.

"The most important thing that we have to improve is scoring. We had several chances to score but could not convert them into goals.

"Many Thai league teams use foreign strikers and this may make the Thai players have problems with scoring," added the German.

Schaefer started with two strikers, Teerasil and Kirati Keawsombut, in a 4-4-2 formation but switched to a 4-3-3 in the second half when he brought on Sarayuth Chaikamdee for a three-pronged attack.

But it did not work and the coach admitted afterwards that a 4-4-2 formation may be the best choice for Thailand.

Thailand began their training on Monday for a World Cup qualifier against Palestine later this month and Schaefer said his men's overall performance against Burma was good after just two days of training.

In wet conditions with heavy downpour, Rangsan Vivatchaichok's free-kick perfectly found Teerasil who headed the ball into the back of the net in the second minute.

Teerasil soon got another chance in the fifth minute but this time his header went wide.

Thailand kept piling pressure on Burma and their attack was not so smooth because of the wet pitch.

In the 30th minute, midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao went clear but his shot was saved by Burma goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet.

Burma's best chance in the first half came in the 37th minute when Kyaw Ko Ko's long drive hit the bar and striker Yan Paing failed to send the loose ball into the net.

Yan Paing almost became a villain for his team when he helped defend his goal and his header came close to going into his own net.

The visitors started strongly in the second half and Mya Aye Naing's shot was too soft to beat Thailand goalkeeper Kawin Thammasatchanan.

The Thais regrouped and Sarayuth and Sompong Sorleb, another substitute striker, got several chances but failed to turn them into goals.

Thailand will train with Burma today at the same stadium. The Thais will host Palestine in a World Cup qualifier in Buri Ram on July 23 with the return leg on July 28 .

Source :