Suchao comes to the rescue (January 13, 2007)



Injury time equaliser secures first point

TOR CHITTINAND

Thailand salvaged a draw in injury time against Burma in the Asean Cup last night after they seemed destined for an undeserved defeat.


Si Thu Win headed Burma in front after 25 minutes at Supachalasai stadium and the visitors bravely held on until deep into stoppage time.


Just when it seemed all was lost for Thailand, Suchao Nutnum fired the ball home from close range to make the final score 1-1.


That sent the thousands of fans into raptures and saved coach Charnwit Phalajivin from having to explain how his side had failed to turn their domination into success.


Instead, Charnwit said he was pleased with the outing.


''It was an exciting game for both teams,'' said Charnwit.


''We made one silly mistake and led to the goal for Burma.


''There were several chances for us to score and our team showed good spirit.


''We had 13 shots on target but just could not get the goal.''


The Thai coach paid tribute to visiting goalkeeper Aung Aung Oo, who had to be substituted in the second half because of a dislocated finger.


''I would like to give him the man of the match award because he saved a lot,'' said Charnwit.


''I am not disappointed at all and we changed many tactics in the second half to adjust to the Burmese.


''Our overall performance was okay.''


Burma coach U Sann Win said he was satisfied with the outcome.


''It was a good game,'' he said.


''We played in the right manner.''


Thailand started with Kiatisak Senamuang and Datsakorn Thonglao up front and soon carved out a succession of chances but Burma goalkeeper Aung Aung Oo managed to keep the hosts at bay with some quality saves.


Thailand kept the pressure up but Burma scored against the run of play when Si Thu Win headed home from a cross.


The hosts desperately tried to even things up but the Burma goalkeeper was in great form and denied several more efforts on target.


It was all level at half-time.


In the second half, Aung Aung Oo had to be substituted for 19-year-old Kyaw Zin Htet after injuring his finger while blocking a shot.


Burma could have added a second, but this time Kosin Hathairattanakool showed that Thailand's goalkeeper was up to the task too.


Six minutes of injury time were added on and Suchao made the most of it to score the much-deserved equaliser.


In the other match, Malaysia crushed the Philippines 4-0 to get three points.


Thailand next play the Philippines tomorrow while Burma will take on Malaysia on the same day.






STANDINGS




!P ! W ! D ! L ! F ! A ! Pts!


Malaysia !1 ! 1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 4 ! 0 ! 3!

Burma !1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 1 ! 1!
Thailand ! 1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 1 ! 1!
Philippines !1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 1 ! 0 ! 4 ! 0!