Thailand beaten by Japan (02/09/2011)

Thailand lost 3-0 to world champions Japan in their opening match of Asia's final Olympic qualifying round in China yesterday.

The Thais bravely held the Japanese for one hour before Nahomi Kawasumi opened the floodgates in the 61st minute.

Asuna Tanaka made it 2-0 after 75 minutes and Shinobu Ohno put the match beyond any doubt in injury time.

Thailand coach Piyakul Kaewnamkang said: "I would like to praise our players for holding Japan for 60 minutes. This means we have improved.

"The match was close in the first half but we lost our concentration in the second half."

Japan coach Norio Sasaki said he rested several players so that they would be fit for the next matches against Australia, China, South Korea and North Korea.

He said: "Actually we used several reserve players today. In the first half Thailand played very well in defence and we were not sharp enough to score. In the second half we had to use our main players and we got three goals."

In yesterday's other matches, North Korea beat Australia 1-0 and China drew 0-0 with South Korea.

The top two teams in the six-nation tournament after round-robin matches receive 2012 Olympic berths.

Thailand will next play Australia tomorrow .

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