Brazils too good for Thais
IT was like lambs to the slaughter as
bloodhungry Brazil showed little respite in trouncing hosts Thailand 70
in the historical match of the 31st King’s Cup fournation tournament
yesterday at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
Much was expected from Thailand, fielding
a mixture of young and experienced players. The stadium was packed with
50,000 diehard fans egging on their home team to give the Brazilians a
run for their money. Sadly, it was not to be as Brazil dazzled, both in
offence and defence, leaving their hapless opponents exasperated and
A disappointed Peter Withe, Thailand’s
English national coach, tried to provide the solace. “Although we lost
70, I’m proud of my players and the Kingdom should be proud of them
too,” said Withe. “We lost to a team that is regarded as the best in
the world since I was a child,” he added.
However, Withe found the sevengoal rout a
little bit hard to digest. “I have absolutely no doubts about
Brazil’s prowess but the result should have been 72 or 73.”
Asked what separated the two teams, Withe
simply said, “Professionalism,” before adding, “They make their
living by playing football. And their players have been playing since
they were kids. In comparison the Thais have to think about study and
Team manager Wirach Chanpanich had a
different answer. “They had 11 chances, seven of which were
successfully converted while we had 6 or 7 missed opportunities,” he
said. Brazil’s national coach Wanderley Luxemburgo declined to comment
on the opponents at first, saying, “It is not good to talk about our
opponents.” However, he did mention a Thai forward as a good player.
Luxemburgo could not remember either the player’s name or his number
but the player was believed to be Sakesan Piturat, who showed good form
“We had a good time here and want to
come back again. Unfortunately, it won’t be in the near future, as we
have to encamp for the World Cup qualifying tournament from March.
“I’m satisfied with the result.
It’s a good tuneup match for us,” added Luxemburgo.
Rivaldo, Fifa’s player of the year and
Barcelona’s spearhead, and Real Madrid’s Roberto Carlos played for a
major part of the game and showed the fans why they are the scourge of
rival teams. Rivaldo left the fans spellbound as he netted a brace,
while Carlos’ mastery over getting the better of the Thai defenders
was world class.
The match did have an exciting beginning.
Though the Thailand players held the Brazilians in high respect, they
showed the home crowd they were not intimidated by their illustrious
Only five minutes into the game, Kiatisak
Senamuang, who flew back from England for the match, tested keeper Dida
with his longrange shot. But Dida was equally agile to the task as he
dived to tap the ball out.
Four minutes later, defender Dusit
Chalermsaen seemed on his way to make history as he spun a free kick
curling towards the Brazil goal. However, his attempt was too wayward.
The Brazilians, having measured their opponents well by this time, took
control of the game and never looked back.
It had to be Rivaldo, who opened the
tally for Brazil in the 12th minute. Gaining possession of the ball from
the middle, he deftly slipped past two Thai midfielders, Thongchai
Akkarapong and Anuruck Srikerd, before netting from 25 yards. The
diminutive Ronaldinho, projected as another Ronaldo, had sent shivers
down the Thai spine when he slammed in a volley from 12 yards only to be
declared offside and the goal disallowed. In the 20th minute, Thailand
again gave a sigh of relief when Ze Roberto’s stinging shot hit the
upright and bounced back into play.
Thailand almost scored an equaliser in
the 37th minute. An advancing Kiatisak found Sakesan Piturat with a neat
cross. Sakesan’s shot beat keeper Dida all ends up but the bar saved
the moment for Brazil.
A counter attack by Brazil, a minute
later, fetched them a 20 lead as Rivaldo’s 30yard shot spectacularly
A minute from the break, Thai keeper
Wirat Wangchan made a clumsy pass to Dusit. Juninho, lurking close by
stole it and crossed it in from the right flank where Ronaldinho easily
tapped in and made it 30.
After the breather, Brazil came out even
more strongly. Only four minutes into the second half, Carlos crossed
the ball in from the left and Emerson rushed in to net from 20 yards.
Keeper Wirat was left stranded, watching the ball as it curled in.
The Thais had by now thrown in the towel
which only enabled Roque Junior, Mario Jardel and Emerson again to
strike in goals to complete a 70 thrashing.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI and WARARAK
touch of class from the best in the world
Thais contribute to entertaining game
top teams don't live up to their name when they play in what are
basically exhibition matches in Thailand, but at the Rajamangala
National Stadium yesterday Brazil didn't let anyone down as they
displayed all the skills which make them the best team in the world.
Although the crowd was not quite the full
capacity as had been hoped-it was a bit optimistic to expect football
fans to fork out 2,000 baht-there was a tremendous atmosphere and Brazil
rose to the occasion with a delightful blend of silky skills and
The star turns didn't disappoint either.
Barcelona's Rivaldo showed why he was international footballer of the
year by scoring the opening two goals, the first being really his first
contribution to the game.
Then, late in the first half he appeared
to be upset at not being given a free-kick after being brought down when
he had broken through. But within a minute he came up with a perfect
riposte-a 40-yard screamer which keeper Wirat Wangchan never saw. It was
the goal of the match and left the crowd gasping.
Also catching the eye was Real Madrid's
Roberto Carlos. His telling runs down the wing and deft ball skills were
a delight to watch as was the youthful exuberance of Ronaldinho.
Ironically, the high spot of the match
was not a goal, but it deserved to be. A fine cross from the left by
Rivaldo saw Ze Roberto with his back to the goal perform a classic
bicycle kick. The ball flew off his boot like a rocket, but
unfortunately for Roberto slammed against the bar. It was a champagne
moment on a dizzy night.
Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos were
substituted at the same time early in the second half, no doubt to keep
their respective clubs happy. Barcelona take on Real Madrid in a vital
Spanish League match on Sunday.
There was no disgrace in Thailand's
defeat-when you are ranked 65th in the world and you play against number
one, that's what's going to happen.
Urged on as ever by coach Peter Withe on
the touchline, the Thai players made a full contribution to the game,
but the difference in class was obvious, especially with the respective
finishing. Although Thailand hit the bar a couple of times-Seksan
Piturat was particularly unlucky with a fine effort-most of the shots
were way off the mark.
Apart from one good first half shot, Thai
star Kiatisak "Zico" Senamuang was not as effective as he
would have hoped. Maybe he found the weather too hot after three months
of shivering in Huddersfield. And when he missed Thailand's best chance
of the night when he sliced his shot in front of goal, he must have
hoped that Terriers manager Steve Bruce wasn't watching.
The second half came down to basically
shooting practice for the Brazilians who were almost queuing up to score.
If goalkeeper Wirat had not made several brave saves, the final score
could have reached double figures.
It was a situation where coach Withe's
strength and value to the Thai squad came clearly into evidence.
Although his team were being outplayed he constantly urged them on,
giving hearty "high-fives" to the players that were
substituted. There was no hint of embarrassment at the runaway scoreline.
It is this sort of spirit that will work
well for the Thai squad in the future.
The match was played in an excellent
spirit and in the end everybody had a good time, players and spectators
alike. The warm applause for the Brazilians as they trooped off at the
end was evidence of that.
Report From Bangkok Post