Thais depart for Yangon, targeting win
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Thais depart for Yangon, targeting win

The Thai team at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday before leaving for Yangon.
The Thai team at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday before leaving for Yangon.

Defending champions Thailand left yesterday for Yangon where they expect a tough battle against Myanmar in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The match will be played at Thuwunna stadium in Yangon and will kick off at 6.30pm (Thai time).

Thailand coach Kiatisak Senamuang said before the team's departure: "We are going to Myanmar targeting a win so that we can have an advantage in the home game in Bangkok."

The second leg will be played at Rajamangala National Stadium on Thursday.

However, Kiatisak said: "It is important that we must not underestimate Myanmar at all.

"They are a young team and most of their players are fit. We will play our game. Whether we will attack or concentrate on defending will depend on how the match goes."

Kiatisak, a former Thailand international, added: "Every player is ready and looking forward to the match with Myanmar. We trained at the Kirin Valley for five days and perfected different tactics for the game, but in Asean, we hardly play defensively."

Thailand captain Teerasil Dangda said: "We are all braced for the game, especially me. I have never won the title for myself and I want to present the Suzuki Cup title as a New Year gift to the Thai people.

"We have been mourning the passing of His Majesty the King [Bhumbibol Adulyadej]. If we can win the tournament it will serve as a great tribute for him."

Indonesia, who have just returned to international football after being banned by Fifa for two years, and Vietnam square off in the other semi-final of the Southeast Asian championship tomorrow and on Wednesday.

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