| OSAKA (May 17, 2007) – Thailand put up a brave fight in their quarter-final tie against Japan but in the end just could not muster enough muscle to power past the host when they beaten 9-6 this evening.
Thailand (pic) was in front twice through Panuwat Janta in the third and 12th minute and even though they managed to trail last year’s finalist Japan 2-4 at the break, the second half proved pivotal.
Through the fatal combination of Kenichiro Kogure and Rikarudo Higa, the home team found the spaces to slot home five more goals after the breather off Daisuke Ono and Takayuka Suzumura for the well-deserved victory.
Thailand’s other goals were scored by Panomkorn Saisorn as captain Panuwat completed his hat trick late in the match.
“It was a good game and a good experience,” said Thailand coach Pattaya Piemkum after the game.
“Next year will be more crucial for us, as it is a World Cup qualifying year but this tournament has been a very good test.
“Of course we are a little disappointed but I’m happy with the way we played. We made one or two mistakes but I think we are coming closer and closer to the standard that Japan has set.”