Thai footballers beat Timor Leste for first win under new coach

Thai footballers beat Timor Leste for first win under new coach

Pathompon Charoenrattanapirom celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Timor Leste at the Singapore National Stadium on Sunday.
Pathompon Charoenrattanapirom celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against Timor Leste at the Singapore National Stadium on Sunday.

Thailand beat Timor Leste 2-0 on Sunday as the War Elephants started their campaign to win the AFF Suzuki Cup football crown in Singapore.

The two teams ended the first half scoreless. Pathompon Charoenrattanapirom broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half at the Singapore National Stadium. Supachok Sarachat added another nine minutes from time.

It was the first victory for Thailand coach Mano Polking and manager Nualphan Lamsam.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament because there are strict rules in place and we are all in a bubble,” the German-Brazilian coach said during a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

Nualphan has vowed to give the national team players a 20 million baht bonus if they win the trophy.

Thailand -- five-time champions -- are in Group A with Timor Leste, hosts Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The Thais will take on Myanmar on Dec 11, followed by the Philippines on Dec 14 and Singapore on Dec 18.

Defending champions Vietnam are in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.

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