2010 AFF Suzuki Cup - A life assurance named Chaikamdee

Thai National Team
The first game day of the ASEAN-Championship are behind us, while the second one is off to start. After a lean and fortunate draw against Laos, our Thais will face their southern neighbour Malaysia. Thailand really need to win, otherwise they may already kicked out of the tournament.

Imagine the following scene, while Thai FA President was at the FIFA-Meeting this Wednesday, how would people at his dining table in Zurich would have reacted upon hearing his explanation of the draw against Laos? " Well, the boys have just played in our FA Cup last Sunday", "They did what! What are you, an ibiot? Plongggggg!!!! *

It obviously wasn't like that as all the FIFA-Executives were very busy to much to arrange their votes for Qatar 2022, but two things are a fact. Thailand really managed only a draw against Laos and the players were tired. At the end, Sarayuut Chaikamdee saved the day for the Thais. However, for the first time in 35 years, the northern neighbour of Thailand gained a point and scored a goal for the first time within five years. No wonder that those facts brought up an earthquake in the region.

Robsons starting eleven were formed without any of the players from Thai Champion Muang Thong United. They all warmed the bench or were rested. So the last front four were made out of Chonburi players only. While Datsakorn Thonglao was on the bench, senior Therdsak Chaiman was in the starting line-up. Leesaw and Sarayuut were the starting strike force.

During the fist half, the Thais controlled the match, passing the ball around as usual and created some chances. The first one came off in the fourth minute, although their best chance was just before half time. Therdsak Chaiman was on his own way towards the goalkeeper, but was not able to convert.

The shock came in the second half with just 54 played. Out of a set-piece situation Konekham Inthammavong was bale to score. If you look at the header, it appears like the old Otto Rehagel school. Let the header always bounce in front of the goalie. Even though in that case it wasn't really the intention to do so. Remarkably the Lao player is only 1.46 high, if you believe the official statistics.

Right after the re-kick Thai striker Sarayuut scored, but was ruled off-side. In the 67 minute he did better and scored the equaliser after a nice inter passing. As Laos made it 1-2 a few minutes before the end of the game, Thailand looked like to be defeated. However, it was the Thai Port striker Chaikamdee once more who levelled. That time it was in injury time and the goal came with a header, which is unusual for Sarayuut. Since he made his comeback for Thailand half a year ago, he nearly scored in every game. With that, it really makes shaking heads that he was not considered for the Asian Cup qualifiers and that he was absent for about two years from the national squad.

Now Thailand will face their southern neighbour Malaysia and it will be a all or nothing match. Both sides need a win if they want to keep their hope for the semis alive. How to rate the chance for Thailand to gain a win over Malaysia? We don't know after a draw against Laos. It is tough to rate the Malaysian side. They were thumbed by 5-1 to host Indonesia in the opening match. Which wasn't that bad compared to the 7-1 thumb Myanmar experienced in the match of group B against Vietnam. Considerably, Malaysia is a very technical skilled team but very young and lacking of experience.

After Bryan Robson rested all the players from Muang Thong during the opener, it is expected that a few of them will find their way back into the starting line up. The centre backs most probably will be back and Datsakorn should be ready to start in the midfield. Whether Leesaw or Teerasil start next to Sarayuut up front remains to be seen.

The second match of the day is between Laos and Indonesia. It will be interesting whether David Booth's boys are able to put the same performance on pitch against Indonesia like they did against Thailand. In case of a draw between those two, everything still open. 

Statistic Thailand - Laos

Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool - Suree Sukha, Cholratit Jantakam, Suttinan Phuk-hom, Theeraton Bunmathan - Rangsan Viwatchaichok, Suchao Nuchnum, Sutee Suksomkit, Therdsak Chaiman (Datsakron Thonglao)  - Teeratep Winothai, Sarayuut Chaikamdee

Sengphachan Bounthisanh, Saynakhoevieng Phommapanya, Kitsada, Ketsada Souksavanh, Khamla Pinkeo, Lamnao Singto (Kanlaya Sysomvang), Keoviengphet Liththideth, Khaysone Soukhavong, Konekham Inthammvong, Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, Khampheng Sayavutthi

Goals: 0-1 Konekham Inthammvong (84.), 1-1 Sarayuut Chaikamdee (67.), 1-2 Kanlaya Sysomvang (82.), 2-2 Sarayuut Chaikamdee (90+1)

Thailand v Laos

* bon-nirnam
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