Thailand, Vietnam draw in opening 2022 World Cup qualifier

Thailand, Vietnam draw in opening 2022 World Cup qualifier

Playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin is in action during the match between Thailand and Vietnam at Thammasat University Stadium on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin is in action during the match between Thailand and Vietnam at Thammasat University Stadium on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thailand and Vietnam started their World Cup qualifier on Thursday with a goalless draw before the War Elephants travel to Indonesia for their next match.

The War Elephants dominated the match but they could not break the solid defence of the visitors, who were determined to earn at least a point from the home team.

Thailand's best chance came during closing seconds as Supachok Sarachat had only Vietnam goalkeeper Dan Van Lam to beat but he could not put the ball into the net.

The result meant Thailand, once regarded as the kings of Southeast Asian football, have been winless against Vietnam this year at all levels and in both genders.

Thailand coach Akira Nishino was hoping before the game that the War Elephants' miserable recent record against regional foes Vietnam would change on Thursday night at the packed Thammasat University Stadium at Rangsit campus. However, Nishino also he rued the lack of time he has had with the Thai national squad.

"This will be my first game as the head coach of the Thai national team, and although I have had a very short time, I will try my best to help Thailand post a good result," Nishino told a press conference on Wednesday.

Vietnamese coach Park Hang-Seo was cautiously upbeat on the eve of the match.

"This game will be different from the King's Cup because it is a World Cup qualifier and has a different kind of pressure. But we are in a very confident mood," the South Korean said on Wednesday.

"We have been able to produce better results than the Thais of late, but this Thailand team is different. They have a different coach as well."

The other teams in Group G are the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Thailand next travel to Indonesia on Tuesday.



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