Thailand hopes hanging by a thread
text size

Thailand hopes hanging by a thread

War Elephants eager for win in final match

Thailand coach Masatada Ishii, second left, addresses a pre-match news conference in Bangkok on Monday.
Thailand coach Masatada Ishii, second left, addresses a pre-match news conference in Bangkok on Monday.

Thailand host Singapore Tuesday night knowing that a victory may not be enough to help them progress if China get a result against South Korea in their last match of the second round Asian qualifiers for the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

Despite the setback suffered on Thursday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by China in an away game, Thailand remain on course for the second spot in Group C although they are three points behind second-placed China.

Even if China suffer a defeat at the hands of Son Heung-Min's South Korea, it could still see Thailand miss out on a place in the 18-team third and final stage of the Asian qualifiers.

The Chinese have a +1 goal difference while the Thais are -2 after five matches each.

Thailand will be determined to give their all but may face some spirited resistance from a Singapore side eager to redeem themselves after conceding seven goals against South Korea.

Thailand coach Masatada Ishii and goalkeeper Patiwat Khammai on Monday told a news conference that their chances of progressing from Group C also hinged greatly on the outcome of the clash between China and South Korea.

"After the game with China, our situation looks quite difficult as we have to look at the result of the other match as well," said the 57-year-old Japanese coach.

"Of course, we must have a good result against Singapore but the game between South Korea and China should end in our favour.

"We will try to score as many goals as possible against Singapore, so we are focusing on our attacking game. We must not concede any goals either."

On the issue of the Thai match starting later than the game between South Korea and China, Ishii said: "We have to focus on our game rather than to focus on such matters. We should be concentrating on the way we play first."

Answering a question about veteran striker Teerasil Dangda and playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin's chances of playing against Singapore, Ishii said: "This question was asked before the last game as well. The answer is that both players are members of the 23-strong squad, so they have a chance to play."

Patiwat said: "Every player is ready and looking forward to the game.

"I will try not to concede any goal during this match because it could have a big impact on the goal difference and affect our chances of qualifying for the next phase."

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

As well as Qatar and South Korea, also already into the last qualifying round are: Japan, Oman, Iran, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Australia and Palestine.

Do you like the content of this article?