| SINGAPORE (29 Jan 2009) – It was a favourable night for Asean teams in the qualifying round of the Asian Cup 2011 as Singapore saw off Jordan 2-1 while Thailand and Indonesia earned a point each against their better known opponents at home.
The Thais held the Ali Daei-led Iranian side to a scoreless draw at the Rajamangala Stadium while Indonesia picked up their second point in the qualifiers with a deadlock against Australia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Peter Reid, the head coach for Thailand was delighted with his players’ performance and expressed confidence his side was capable of reaching the finals.
“I still think Iran are the favourites but we’ve got as good a chance as anybody else,” said Reid.
“They are a top side, they are very difficult. But the Thai players acquitted themselves very, very well. We defended when we had to and we tried to create chances and possibly made the best chance of the game.”
The former Manchester City and Sunderland manager, however, criticised his team for giving away too many free kicks in the final third of the field but was happy with his team’s position in the group after successive draws in their opening two games, the first away to Jordan.
“They were two really tough sides. Overall I’m pleased. It certainly gives us a real good chance, a foothold in the group. It is a good start for us.”
The Lions, who had succumbed to a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Iran the previous week in Teheran, bounced back with goals from Agu Casmir in the 21st minute and Noh Alam Shah (pic) in the 64th minute.
Jordan struck their only goal in the game off Hatem Aqel’s penalty in the 41st minute to give Singapore their 2-1 win at the National Stadium.
Only the top two teams from each qualifying group will make the finals.