War Elephants face speedy Malaysians

War Elephants face speedy Malaysians

Thai men's footballers take part in a training session on Friday. (Photo supplied)
Thai men's footballers take part in a training session on Friday. (Photo supplied)

The Thai U22 side take on arch-rivals Malaysia in their second Group B game of the men's football competition of the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia on Saturday afternoon.

The War Elephants are high on confidence after their impressive 3-1 victory over Singapore 3-1 in their opening group match on Sunday.

However, this time they are up against Malaysia, a side still basking in the glory of their 5-1 hammering of Laos a few days ago.

Thailand U22 team coach Issara Sritaro is aware of the challenge his men face on Saturday.

"I am not expecting an easy game against them," said Issara.

"Malaysia are a strong team. Most of their players are tall and have good speed on the break.

"I have been telling the players that they would have to be very careful and more focused in this game than the first match."

Issara admitted that he was still working on a plan for today's match at Phnom Penh's Prince Stadium.

"From what I have seen, the Malaysians do not press high and the important part of their game is counter-attacks.

"They were very good on counter-attacks against Laos and it is now our turn to be ready and handle them.

"I am expecting them to sit a bit deep in defence and let us control the ball in the midfield. They will be mainly looking for the opportunities to counter-attack.

"I have not decided on our tactics for the match but we must get a win and claim three points from this game."

Meanwhile, Issara has no problems with the fitness of his players and will be able to field his strongest squad led by stars Achitpol Kirirom, Teerasak Poeiphimai and Purachate Todsanit.

The Malaysians, led by their captain Mukhairi Ajmal and crafty left back Ruventhiran Vengadesan, will also be ready for the game.

The Thais are the most successful nation in the men's football with 16 titles but have failed to win the gold medal in the previous two Games.

Chaba Kaew take on Laos

The Thai women's team will also be in action today, facing Laos in their second Group B match at RSN Stadium.

The Chaba Kaew were in brilliant form in their opening game on Wednesday when they whitewashed Singapore 4-0.

"We are hoping for a better show than the first game in this match," Thailand coach Naruepol Kaenson said.

Do you like the content of this article?