Thailand hope to exploit home ground advantage

Thailand hope to exploit home ground advantage

Flexing muscles: Thailand players take part in a training session at BG Training Center.
Flexing muscles: Thailand players take part in a training session at BG Training Center.

Thailand national football team coach Masatada Ishii is hoping his men will benefit from the home ground advantage when they take on South Korea in their fourth Group C game of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

The match will be played at Bangkok's Rajamangala National Stadium at 7.30pm and will be televised live by Thai Rath TV (32).

The War Elephants are in a confident mood after securing a rallying 1-1 tie in Seoul on Thursday.

Young Suphanat Mueanta, who came on as a substitute after the break, scored an equaliser for the Thais after South Korea captain Son Heung-Min had put the hosts ahead just before the half-time.

China wasted a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Singapore on Thursday, handing Thailand the second spot in the group on goal difference. South Korea lead the pool table with seven points.

The top two finishers in each of the nine groups will advance to the third and final next phase of the Asian zone qualifiers.

Ishii believes that the game on Tuesday will be another memorable day for the Thai players.

"In the away game against South Korea, the players helped each other very well, which to me is very important," said the Japanese coach.

"I have told the players that although we got one point from the match, it is a very big point for the Thai national team. No matter how many points we get, they will all benefit the team.

"The next match will be in Bangkok and it will definitely be a different game.

"In Seoul, South Korea had the crowd support but here the Thai football fans will be cheering us.

"We will once again make an utmost effort to claim at least a point from the match. That's our target."

Meanwhile, Thailand's first-choice goalkeeper Patiwat Khummai said during a training session at BG Training Center about the match in Seoul that it was "great team effort".

"The staff coaches had done their job by working out the tactics and the players did their part by helping each other throughout the game," he added.

"South Korea are an Asian top team and are a regular feature at the World Cup finals.

"It wasn't only Lee Kang-In or Son Heung-Min who attacked, they came at us as a team, putting us under immense pressure.

"We were attacked by the South Koreans throughout the game, but every player tried to help in defending.

"The game at Rajamangala Stadium won't be easy at all because South Korea have plenty of quality players. We'll have to play a perfect game without making any mistakes.

"We are very happy that tickets have been sold out. We will do our best to get a good result."

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