Worrawoot praises tenacity of his boys

Worrawoot praises tenacity of his boys

Thailand's Suphanat Mueanta (right) vies with Vietnam's Vu Tien Long in Tashkent.
Thailand's Suphanat Mueanta (right) vies with Vietnam's Vu Tien Long in Tashkent.

Thailand coach Worrawoot Srimaka had words of praise for his men's persistence following a 2-2 draw with Vietnam in their opening match at the AFC U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan on Thursday night.

The young War Elephants denied their Southeast Asian rivals a winning start in injury time when Suphanat Mueanta headed home from Korawich Tasa's brilliant cross.

Having defeated Thailand in the SEA Games final in Hanoi last month, the young Golden Star Warriors got off to a dream start at Tashkent's Bunyodkor Stadium when they took the lead after just 20 seconds through Phuan Tuan Tia.

The goal forced Worrawoot to make his first substitution for tactical reasons after 28 minutes with Wanchat Choosong replaced by Ben Davis.

Six minutes later, Davis equalised for Thailand.

The Vietnamese regained the lead in the 73rd minute when substitute Nguyen Van Tung's volley sailed into the bottom left corner only for Suphanat to equalise in the dying moments.

"I have to thank my boys. I have to thank them for getting a point," said Worrawoot.

"But we have to give credit to Vietnam who played well."

He added: "It was a difficult match. We conceded a goal very early in the first minute so we had to change our play style and make tactical changes to our plan.

"If we didn't concede, we would have kept to our tactics that we had trained for. As for Benjamin [Ben Davis], he was supposed to be a super-sub in the second half.

"After conceding, we lost control of the match and had to send on Benjamin to regain possession."

Davis said: "The key moment for us was the goal in the 90th minute. Thanks to Suphanat, because without his goal we would not have managed to get a point from this match."

In Thursday's other Group C game, defending champions South Korea thrashed Malaysia 4-1. Thailand will next take on Malaysia tomorrow while Vietnam face South Korea.

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