PHUKET: Thailand's national football team’s under-23 squad enjoyed their warm-up match on Tuesday night against their arch rival Myanmar.
The squad walked away from Ratchamangkala Stadium in Bangkok with a 4-0 win.
In this friendly warm-up match, all four goals came in the second half after multiple chances to score were spoiled in the beginning of the game.
Thailand made two changes on both wings at the beginning of the second half, with Rungrat Poomjantuk replacing Pinyo In-pinij on the left side, and Nurul Sriyankem taking over from Pakorn Premsak on the right.
After just three minutes on the field, Nurul Sriyankem broke the deadlock with the match’s opening goal.
With a long-distance free kick on the right side of the field, Nurul’s ball blew through Myanmar’s defensive line, past the Thailand striker and goalkeeper and straight into the net. No other players were even able to make contact.
The second goal came with a penalty kick by Thitipan Puangjan in the 59th minute.
Myanmar’s situation worsened at 68 minutes, when defender Sid Su Mo collected his second yellow card by committing a foul against Thailand midfielder, Thanabul Kesarat.
Thailand confirmed their victory by adding a third goal at 74 minutes by Chananan Pom-buppha, and Rungrat closed the deal with the final goal at 89 minutes.
The U-23 team are gearing up for the 28th SEA Games, to be held in Singapore from May 29 to June 15.
Thailand will defend their title in the opening match of the tournament with Laos on May 29.
“It was a good end result for us, but we still have a lot of work to do so that we can defend our championship in Singapore,” said head coach Chokthawee Promrat after the match on Tuesday.
On May 24, the team will face off with Vietnam for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier match, which will also be played at Ratchamangkala Stadium.
The Thailand national team is currently ranked 142nd in the world by FIFA. This article first appeared in the May 23-29 issue of the hard-copy
Phuket Gazette newspaper.
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