Nishino calls up only 2 strikers

Nishino calls up only 2 strikers

Buriram United's Supachai Chaided reacts after scoring a goal. PR
Buriram United's Supachai Chaided reacts after scoring a goal. PR

There are only two strikers in Thailand coach Akira Nishino's 33-man squad for the upcoming two World Cup qualifiers.

The Japanese, who was appointed coach of the War Elephants last month, yesterday announced his first Thailand's squad, which will be trimmed to 23 players before their home match against Vietnam on Sept 5 and away game at Indonesia on Sept 10.

Buriram United's Supachai Chaided and True Bangkok United's Chananan Pombupha are the only two out-and-out strikers in the team as Teerasil Dangda and Adisak Kraisorn, both of SCG Muang Thong United, are injured.

The duo have not played for their club for about a month.

There are eight new faces -- Ekanit Panya, Apirak Worawong, Korraphat Nareechan, Patcharapol Inthanee, Saringkhan Promsupa, Rannakorn Maikami, Phitiwat Sujitthummakul and Charoensak Wongkorn.

As expected, three Japan-based stars -- Chanathip Songkrasin (Consadole Sapporo), Theerathon Bunmathan (Yakohama F Marinos) and Thitiphan Puangjan (Oita Trinita) are in the squad as is goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan of OH Leuven in Belgium.

Nishino earlier said he was impressed by the performances of Chanathip, Theerathon and Thitiphan in Japan and that the trio could be his key players in the Thai national team.

The players will report to the training camp after this weekend's round of matches in Thai League 1.

The other teams in Group G of Asia's second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup are the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

Winners of the eight groups and four best second-placed sides will make it to the third and final stage of Asia's qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup.

The Thai men have never qualified for the World Cup finals.

Friendly match with Brazil?

The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) confirmed yesterday that representatives of Brazil had approached it to schedule a friendly in Singapore on Oct 11 between the Thai national team and the five-time world champions.

FAT president Somyot Poompunmuang said the FAT had not yet given them a reply as it has to discuss the matter with national team coach Nishino.

"There are many factors to be considered before we accept the offer. In fact, we already have a plan for a warm-up game in October," he said.

The Thai players could be exhausted as they will have to play the UAE at home in a World Cup qualifier on Oct 15, Somyot said.

"Nishino will have the final decision on the matter," he said.

Draw for FA Cup semi-finals

Ratchaburi will face Buriram United and True Bangkok United will take on Port in the FA Cup semi-finals, following yesterday's draw.

Both semi-final matches will be played at neutral venues in Bangkok -- Boonyachinda Stadium and 72nd Anniversary Stadium -- on Sept 18.

The final will take place on Nov 2.

The champions will receive five million baht in prize money and a spot in the AFC Champions League second play-off round next year.

Thai League 1 leaders Buriram are chasing three titles. The Thunder Castle will meet PT Prachuap in the League Cup final on Sept 28.

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