2010 AFF Suzuki Cup - The Changsuek put his head to sleep

Thai National Team
It's over and out. After Indonesia edged the Thais by 2-1 in the last match of group A, Thailand is knocked-out of the tournament at group stage level. It happened for the second time , after 2004, since this competition was introduced.

Indonesia was already qualified for the semis and could have taken it easy. But Alfred Riedl, the coach, made only three changes to his previous line-up. A signal how serious he took the match. His counterpart Bryan Robson made even four changes. As most of his players tired, maybe he just wanted to bring in some fresh legs.

65.000 fanatic Indonesians saw a fairly dull first half without a goal. After the break, the Thais started much better and Suree Sukha scored the lead for Thailand with a nice volley. Maybe he just had a desire to see his brother Surat again. Surat playing for Melbourne Victory, was planned to come over in case the Thais would make it to the knock-out stage. Previously Thailand had two big chances already. First, Indonesia was forced to clear the ball off the line and the second came when Keerati Keawsombat overhead kick was pushed over the bar by the stopper.

The lead lasted about 10 minutes before two penalties within five minutes ruined the match for the Thais. On the first occasion Panupong Wongsa brought down his opponent Gonzales right in front of the goal line and was booked with a yellow card. A few minute later he tried to block a shoot from the edge of the box having his arms raised into the air. The ball hit his right arm and the referee decided to give a penalty. Surely it wasn't done with purpose, but the hands don't have to bee there, were they were. However he awarded his second yellow and had to leave the pitch.

After an early exit during the SEA-Games last year, now the early exit at the AFF Suzuki Cup. Most of the supporters in Thailand are very angry and are ready to rally against Worawi Makudi, the FA Boss, and partially against Bryan Robson. In regards to Robson, well a coach will always be judged by the success of his team. And since he become in charge the record isn't really that good, taking aside the achievement during the recent Asian Games. To rally against Makudi, in order to force him to step down seems to be naive. Makudi owns many positions within the administrative bodies of AFC and FIFA. And he even stated that the football bosses of France and Italy didn't stepped down just because of poor results from their first eleven. At least this argument looks a bit ridiculous. I am pretty much sure that those two bosses did their homework. Anything else was left to a technical director and the head coach. In Thailand, those things work different. As to my knowledge there isn't any technical director, at least not officially. Who is responsible to build up structures within Thaifootball, developing grass root and youth football? Who has to coordinate matches, dates, camps and all those things between the league, the FA and the national team? What about a decent match calendar considering international meetings and allow decent time of preparation? If there is one, responsible for all those things, name him. And maybe sack him.

At least there is one positive thing we can take from the early exit. The boys are now getting their well deserved holiday after a crazy long season. Just imagine the same lads would have to play the Asian Cup next months. For the time being, Thailand isn't any longer the powerhouse in ASEAN-Region and for the time being, the "Changsuek" put his head to sleep.

Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool - Suree Sukha (Suchao Nuchnum, 76.), Nataporn Phanrit, Panupong Wongsa, Natthaphong Samana - Suttinan Phuk-hom, Datsakorn Thonglao (Therdsak Chaiman, 67.), Rangsan Viwatchaichok, Naruphol Ar-Romsawa - Keerati Keawsombat (sarayuut Chaikamdee, 74.), Teerasil Dangda

Markus Haris Maulana - Mohammad Nasuha, Zulkifli Syukur, Maman Abdurahman, Tony Sucipto, Eka Ramdani, Cristian Gonzáles, Oktovianus Maniani, Muhammad Roby, Irfan Bachdim, Muhammad Ridwan

Goals: 1-0 Suree Sukha (68.), 1-1 Bambang Pamungkas (82.), 1-2 Bambang Pamungkas (86.)
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