Thailand lose to China in SEA Games warm-up

Thailand lose to China in SEA Games warm-up

Thailand's Sittichok Paso, No.29, in action against China.
Thailand's Sittichok Paso, No.29, in action against China.

An under-strength Thailand U23 side put in an impressive effort but still went down 2-1 to China U23 team in a warm-up game in Pathum Thani on Saturday night.

The home team, preparing to defend their title at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, were without their four senior national team stars -- Supachai Chaided, Supachok Sarachat, Suphanat Mueanta and Ekanit Panya.

Their coach Nishino was also missing from the team dugout. The veteran Japanese is overseeing the senior national team's training for their 2022 World Cup Group G qualifiers in Malaysia on Thursday and in Vietnam on Nov 19.

The hosts, managed on the day by assistant coach Totchtawan Sripan, started well with playmaker Sittichok Paso initiating some good moves.

However, the Chinese picked up an early goal as a couple of defensive errors allowed Yang Liyu to slot the ball home in the 12th minute, allowing the visitors to dominate the game until the break.

Thailand put on a better show in the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 57th minute when Jaturapat Sattham crossed the ball from the left to set up Jaroensak Wongkorn for a header.

The Thais' joy lasted only a minute as the Chinese struck again with Duan Liuyu firing home from close range. Thailand goalkeeper Nont Muangngam was able to get a hand to Duan's shot, but it still trickled into the net.

The hosts kept up the pressure in search of another equaliser and their best chance came in the final stoppage time but a fine header by Thitathong Auksornsri was cleared by Chinese goalkeeper Chen Wei.

The Thais are scheduled to play another warm-up game with Myanmar on Wednesday at Chulalongkorn Stadium and will depart for the Philippines on Nov 23.

Thailand are in Group B with Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos and Brunei.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Timor Leste are in Group A.

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