Misfiring Thailand scrape to 1-0 victory (23/07/2011)
BURI RAM : Thailand are in danger of elimination after they could only edge Palestine 1-0 in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier at I-Mobile stadium last night.
The Thais missed a golden chance to take a 2-0 advantage into next Thursday's second leg in the West Bank when Suchao Nutnum's spot kick in the dying moments hit the woodwork.
Yesterday's narrow win might be a bad omen for Thailand following their setback in an Olympic qualifier earlier this year.
Thailand beat Palestine 1-0 in Bangkok and lost by the same score in the West Bank in Palestine's first-ever competitive international match on home soil.
Thailand went on to win on penalties but were then booted out from the Olympic qualifying event because they used a suspended player in the Bangkok leg.
In yesterday's game, Thailand got off to a lively start and squandered several chances before they found the net in the 19th minute.
Jakkraphan Buathong's shot hit Palestine defender Abdellatif Bahdari as the ball deflected into his own net.
Thailand dominated for long periods but could not get the second goal.
Their best chance came in injury time when the home side were awarded a penalty after striker Teerasil Dangda was brought down in the area.
However, Suchao, a player of Buriram PEA who own I-Mobile stadium, saw his kick hit a post.
"Before the match, I thought 1-0 would be enough," said Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer.
"But we played well and should have scored three or four goals.
"I did not assign anyone to take a penalty and Suchao wanted to do it."
Yesterday's match was Schaefer's first competitive game as Thailand's coach and he admitted that the second leg would be tough.
"The second match will not be easy because Thailand will have to play on an artificial pitch," said the German.
"But I am still confident that we will advance to the next round."
Palestine coach Moussa Bezaz said: "Thailand is a good team. We did not start well but we are pleased that we lost only 1-0.
"I am still believe that we will beat Thailand and qualify for the next round."
Thailand will leave for the West Bank today.
Source : http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/248505/misfiring-thailand-scrape-to-1-0-victory