Thailand produced a superb performance as they ran out 3-0 winners against Oman. The home side showed that they mean business and that they are not in group D to make up the numbers.
The Thais certainly had the better of the first half. Despite the early pressure, Al-Habsi in the Oman goal wasn't tested and the first-half looked to be heading to a goalless conclusion.
However that changed 10 minutes before the interval. A through ball from the centre of the park was cleverly back heeled by Teerasil onto Sompong's run. The ex-Thai Port man was clear through on goal and slotted the ball past Al-Habsi to give Thailand the lead.
Five minutes later, that lead was doubled with another goal that seemed to slice through the Oman back 4. Datsakorn played a cutting through ball into Teerasil's path, and the slightest touch on the ball from the striker's right boot, trickled past Al-Habsi into the net to make it 2-0 at the break.
Thailand needed that killer third goal and it almost came on 55 minutes when Teerasil's shot from Rangsan's cut-back hit the post.
Oman did have a couple of efforts that warmed Sintaweechai's gloves, but that was about it. Tonight there was only ever going to be one winner.
Chonburi's right back, Suree Sukha, replaced Sompong on the right wing midway through the half and he was proving a handful for the Oman left back. It wasn't just Suree, as it appeared that Thailand could attack at will down the right hand side of the park.
In injury time one of Suree's attacks down the right eventually wrapped the game up. His cross met Chatree's head on the six yard box and looking at the replays the ball was going to hit the corner flag. Fortunately for Thailand, the header from Chatree bounced of a hapless Oman defender into the net. That goal pretty much summed up a disappointing night for Paul la Guen's side.
Credit must go to Winfried Schaefer for the turnaround in Thailand's performances in the last two games. At times, it hasn't looked convincing in the previous games, but the German now has the Thai side playing with organization, passion and belief. The only thing I would be critical about tonight was the final ball into the box. If the quality had been better, Thailand could have scored 5 or 6.
Next up is another home game against Saudi Arabia in 5 weeks time. A win in that would have Thailand flying high on 6 points.