Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thailand's World Cup Dream in the Balance

After watching Kasetsart v Bangkok Christian yesterday, I headed down to Sukhumvit Road to watch the Thailand v Palestine game. As I arrived in the bar, I looked around at the big screen TVs and couldn't see any showing the Thailand game. There was rugby, a Liverpool friendly and Rangers v Hearts being shown in the bar. I asked the barman if they were showing the Thailand game and he said "No, no, tomorrow." - He evidently thought I was a clueless farang who had turned up a day early for the TPL All-Stars v Chelsea game. After a couple of minutes of trying to convince him that the Thai game was being shown live on TV, he eventually checked the newspaper. He realized that it was on and let us watch it on the TV in the corner of the bar. I found it pretty disappointing that nobody, including Thais, were interested in watching the World Cup qualifier.

Anyway, by the time I started to watch the game, Thailand were already 1-0 up. It looked like it was just a matter of time until they added a second. That never happened and rather worryingly, Palestine appeared to grow in confidence as the game went on. Deep into injury time, Thailand were rightly awarded a penalty. With virtually the last kick of the ball, Suchao hit the post with the spot kick. There is a lingering, nagging feeling that the penalty miss may come back to haunt the Thailand.

A clean sheet and a 1-0 victory is usually a decent result to take into the 2nd leg, but the return fixture will be played in front of a passionate crowd in very different weather conditions. Will 1-0 be enough?

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