Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thailand 1-3 Kuwait

Thailand's qualification hopes for Australia 2015 took a massive blow as they were soundly beaten by Kuwait 3-1 on a churned-up Rajamangala pitch.

The first chance of the game came when Al Mutwa split the Thai defence with a through ball only for Yousef Naser to fire wide from the edge of the box with only Kawin to beat.

Kuwait continued to use the pace of Naser on the counter attack as they sat back comfortably containing any early Thai attacking threats.

On 25 minutes, the deadlock was broken when Thailand's defence was too easily cut open. Al Mutwa's cross shot from the outside of his right boot was probably just creeping wide, yet the ball was knocked into the empty net by the unfortunate Theerathorn as he tried to clear it.

Just after the half hour, there were loud shouts for a penalty when Fadhel's lunge at the ball caught Teerasil on the ankle. TV replays showed that there was contact but the foul happened inches outside the box. In the end it didn't matter as the Japanese referee didn't whistle for any offense.

The Atletico Madrid trialist then miscued a shot wide minutes later after Anucha had set him up, and the same man warmed the palms of Al Khaldi seconds before the interval as Kuwait went in 1-0 to the good.

The hosts came out on the offensive after the break, but yet again slack defending proved costly when an unmarked Hussain Fadhel headed home Al Mutwa's floated free kick on the hour.

Not long afterwards, the game was put to bed as substitute Hamad Aman slotted past Kawin with his first touch after Al Mutwa chipped the ball over the static Thai defense.

Substitute Chanathip was called from the bench and the youngster pulled a goal back ten minutes later for Thailand with his long range shot creeping into the bottom corner.

Yousef Naser rattled the crossbar and forced Kawin to make a strong one-handed save as Kuwait comfortably saw out the game 3-1.

Overall the match was a massive disappointment for Thailand. The back four defended like four players on a table football rod while crosses into the opponent's box were woeful. The Kuwaitis defended stoutly and were lively on the counter attack. After tonight's game, I'd be very surprised if they don't qualify for Australia 2015.

Man of the Match: Bader Al Mutwa - Involved in all three goals

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