Activities on 20th July 2001

Spirited Thais make Man United work Posted July 30, 2001 by admin
Tor Chittinand

Thailand put up a spirited display to restrict English champions Manchester United to a 2-1 victory in front of a near-capacity crowd at Rajamangala Stadium yesterday.

It was United's third victory on their Asian tour, but by far their most difficult match, the Old Trafford side having enjoyed 6-0 and 8-1 wins respectively over Malaysia and Singapore.

Reinforced by their Singapore-based players, Thailand put up a better performance than 10 days earlier when they lost to Liverpool 3-1.

With Kiatisak "Zico" Senamuang and Tawan Sripan showing a lot of pace and Anuruck Srikerd busy in midfield, Thailand began in lively fashion and gave the Man U defence plenty of work.

United also looked dangerous up front but they found Thai goalkeeper Phansa Meesathum in top form.

After a spell of pressure United took the lead in the 29th minute with a well-taken goal by skipper-for-the-day Ryan Giggs from the edge of the area.

Within five minutes Thailand equalised with an excellent goal by Tawan. The experienced Thai star turned his man on the edge of the box and fired it sweetly past United goalie Fabien Barthez. The stadium exploded as the Thai players celebrated the goal which also earned them a big financial bonus.

The action continued at both ends with Man U getting the better chances. Phansa saved splendidly when Andy Cole was put through and then Ruud van Nistelrooy's shot hit the post. The teams went in with the score 1-1.

There was some disappointment in the crowd when David Beckham did not appear for the second half which saw United bring on six players _ Raimond van der Gouw, Philip Neville, Luke Chadwick, Roy Keane, Quinton Fortune and Dwight Yorke. United began with more purpose in the second half, restricting Thailand to sporadic counterattacks.

Thailand came close in the 62nd minute when a cross from Dusit Chalermsaen caused momentary panic in the United defence, but no Thai player could force the ball home.

United continued to put pressure on the Thai defence which was holding up admirably considering many of the team had played several matches earlier in the week.

In the 69th minute, Chadwick came close but was thwarted by Phansa, who had an excellent match.

Paul Scholes came on as substitute for Nicky Butt and almost scored twice in a couple of minutes, one shot whistling past the post, another screaming over the bar.

United were eventually rewarded for their pressure when Yorke headed home a cross by Fortune in the 78th minute. Thailand desperately tried to grab a draw but the score remained 2-1 at the final whistle.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for the Thai team. "It was an exciting game and I think the Thai people should be proud of their team. They really played very well today."

Ferguson had particular praise for midfielder Anuruck. "He played really well in the first half," he said.

Yorke, who was named United's man of the match, said he was pleased to have scored. "Every striker needs to score to keep up his confidence."

Thailand's team manger Virat Charnpanich said he was very happy with his side's performance. "It was important for us to play well with the World Cup qualifiers coming up."

Thailand's man of the match, Tawan, said he was delighted to score against United as they had been his favourite team since he was a child.

Nine of the United players flew back to England last night while the rest, including Beckham, will fly back this afternoon.


Thailand: Phansa Meesatham, Tananchai Boriban (Nirut Surasiang 52), Niweat Siriwong (Withaya Nabthong 82), Chukiat Noosalung, Surachai Jirasirichote (Choketawee Promrat 60), Dusit Chalermsang (Thanongsak Prajakkata 67), Tawan Sripan (Therdsak Chaiman 75), Thawatchai Dumrong-ongtrakul, Anurak Srikerd, Kiatisak Senamuang (capt), Sakesan Pituratana (Suthee Suksomkit 56)

Manchester United: Fabien Barthez (Raimond Van der Gouw 46), Denis Irwin (Philip Neville 46), Ronny Johnsen, Wes Brown, Mikael Silvestre, David Beckham (Luke Chadwick 46), Nicky Butt (Paul Scholes 72), Juan Sebastian Veron (Roy Keane 46), Ryan Giggs (capt) (Quinton Fortune 46), Andy Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy (Dwight Yorke 46)


Over 30,000 turn up to watch training Posted July 29, 2001 by admin
Ferguson stunned by huge turnout
Tor Chittinand

More than 30,000 fans flocked to Suphachalasai Stadium yesterday to watch the superstars of English champions Manchester United undergo a light training session in preparation for today's friendly against Thailand.

The local Man United faithful started turning up at the ground from noon and many waited six hours before the players arrived for the scheduled 6 p.m. start.

For some of the fans-those unable to buy tickets for today's match-it was the only chance to watch their heroes, notably England captain David Beckham, in action in the flesh.

All the United players were there but the action, which lasted 90 minutes, was not too strenuous in the heat. Some of the players, including new recruits Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy, trained with groups of schoolchildren.

In the morning the players had taken part in a more serious workout at Rajamangala Stadium.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was staggered by the numbers who turned out to watch his side train in the evening.

"It was amazing to see so many people there to watch us train," he said. "This was really a very warm welcome for the team. It was only training and I have never before seen so many people at a stadium to watch a training session.

"This looked like a real match.

"For the game with Thailand, we will select our best players and will play our best. We know that Thailand are a tough team to beat but we will do our best."

Fans wearing the team colours, waving banners and screaming the players' names pressed in around the squad's coach when they arrived for the training session. Several people fainted and were carried off by friends.

Thousands of fans from all over Thailand have converged on the capital to watch the English champions this weekend.

Crowds of several hundred who could not get in to watch the training session milled around outside the stadium, browsing for contraband posters and jerseys at street stalls.

An elderly woman in a red United jersey said she had travelled several hundred kilometres from Trang to see Beckham despite not having a match ticket.

Meanwhile, Thai team manager Virat Charnpanich said: "Our players have played many matches recently in the Thailand League, as well as the S-League for those based in Singapore. This is a problem for our team.

"Although we are the underdogs, I believe we will not lose by more than three goals.

"Our team is much better than Malaysia and Singapore, plus we have the Singapore-based players back. It will be a good game and we will try to entertain the Thai fans."

All the Singapore-based players, except Choketawee Promrat, returned to Bangkok yesterday. Choketawee will fly back this morning.


Manchester United Schedule in Bangkok 27-29 July 2001

27 July 2001 16:30 Team arrive Bangkok flight no. MH782
18:00 Check In at Radisson Hotel (RAMA IX Road)
19:00 Press Conference at Radisson Hotel
20:00 Welcome Dinner at Radisson Hotel
28 July 2001 8:00-9:00 Breakfast
10:00-12:00 Training Session at Rajmangkala National Stadium
13:00-14:00 Lunch at Radisson Hotel
15:30-17:30 Training Session at Stadium
19:00 Welcome Dinner from Sponsors at Orental Princess
29 July 2001 10:00-11:30 Breakfast
13:15-14:00 Hotel - Rajmangkala National Stadium
16:00-18:00 Thailand VS Manchester United Match
18:30-19:30 Press Ceonference
20:30 Dinner at Radisson Hotel
30 July 2001 8:00-9:00 Breakfast
11:45-12:45 Lunch
13:00:14:45 Check out
17:10 Depart from Bangkok



Fabien Barthez David Beckham Kittisak Rawangpa Thavatchai D.
Gary Neville Luke Chadwick Virat Wantchan Nived Siriwong
Denis Irwin Ryan Giggs Phansa Meesathum Thongchai Akkarapong
Philip Neville Quinton Fortune Aurak Srikerd Dusit Chalermsang
Ronny Johnsen Dwight Yorke Chukiat Noosalung Tananchai Boriban
Wesley Brown Andy Cole Therdsak Chaiman Pitipong Kuldilok
Jakob Stam Ruud van Nistelrooij Thanongsak Prajjakata Worachai Surinsirirat
Juan Sebastian Veron  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Vittaya Nabthong Sakesan Pituratana
Paul Scholes   Nirut Surasiang Voravudh Srimakha
Roy Keane   Tawan Sripan Kiatisuk Senamueng
Nicky Butt   Surachai Jirasirichote Choketawee Promrut
    Sutee Suksomkit  

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