Thailand brace for battle against champs Saudi Arabia
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Thailand brace for battle against champs Saudi Arabia

Thailand U23 players train in Doha on Thursday.
Thailand U23 players train in Doha on Thursday.

Thailand U23 team will meet defending champions Saudi Arabia in the second match of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Asian Cup in Qatar on Friday.

The young War Elephants head into the game on the back of an impressive 2-0 win against Iraq in their Group C opener on Tuesday.

The Saudis also won their opening match, defeating Tajikistan 4-2.

The win over Iraq has raised expectations but Thailand head coach Issara Sritaro is only looking to ensure that his players adhere to the game plan.

"Our confidence is boosted by the performance in the first game, a game where we worked hard to get the result that we wanted," said Issara.

"For Saudi Arabia, we have our plan just like how we managed to come out with a plan for Iraq, their game against Tajikistan will also be considered for how we devise our plan."

Defender Songwut Kraikruan insisted the players will not be overconfident despite their opening victory.

"Of course, we will not be over confident because we still have two matches to play in the group stage. We have to keep our discipline and play the way we did to get good results in the next matches," he said. "Saudi Arabia are a strong team. They have several players that played for the senior side and they also won the first game, which will give them confidence as well."

The match at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha will kick off at 10.30pm and will be shown live on TrueSport 2.

Kingdom down China

Thailand kicked off their AFC Futsal Asian Cup Group A campaign with an excellent win, defeating China 3-1 at Indoor Stadium Hua Mark on Wednesday night.

The victory gives the hosts an early advantage in the race for a place in the knockout stage, with Vietnam and Myanmar having drawn the group's earlier game.

Apiwat Chamcharoen put the home team ahead in the 13th minute by firing past the Chinese goalkeeper Song Zechao.

Thailand needed less than a minute to double the lead after Jirawat Sornwichian played a high ball down the right side which Suphawut Thueanklang chested inside his marker and fired home to make it 2-0.

Muhammad Osmanumusa added the third goal with less than five minutes of the first half remaining.

The Chinese got their consolation goal in the second half from Xu Yang just before the final whistle.

Thailand will face Myanmar today while Vietnam will meet China in the day's earlier match.

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