| VIENTIANE (10 Dec 2009) – Despite still nursing an injury and not fully fit, Thai striker Teerasil Dangda is all eager to start against Malaysia in the crucial match of Group A at the Chao Anuvong Stadium.
Thailand have won the gold medal in men’s football for the last editions since 1993 and they are aiming to make it nine in a row in the Vientiane Games.
But Teerasil has been out of action since he sustained an injury in the team’s first match against Vietnam on 2 Dec which ended in a 1-1 draw and tomorrow, the influential Teerasil might not start the match after beginning light training just yesterday.
Skipper Kiatprawut Saiwaew, who is also injured, has also restarted training.
“’I am getting better. I think I will not be able to start against Malaysia,’“ said Teerasil.
“’But I will play if the coach wants me to. I want to help the team win the gold medal.”
The Thais need only a draw against Malaysia while the latter will have to win the three points outright if they want to make it into the next round of the championship.
Head coach Steve Darby said that Kiatprawut should be available for selection although he’s not too certain if Teerasil would be fit enough to start.
“Kiatprawut will be okay. Teerasil is not in a good condition. It will be crazy if we put him in the starting line-up,“ added Darby.
“I think he will be on the bench and we will use him only if we really need him.”
“It will be too dangerous for us to play for a draw against Malaysia. We could be out (of the competition) if we concede a penalty in the last minute like we did against Vietnam.”
Group A: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Cambodia
Group B: Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia
RESULTS AND FIXTURES
2 Dec (Main Stadium): MALAYSIA 11 TIMOR LESTE 0/ THAILAND 1 VIETNAM 1
4 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): THAILAND 4 CAMBODIA 0/ VIETNAM 4 TIMOR LESTE 0
5 Dec (Main Stadium): SINGAPORE 2 INDONESIA 2/ LAOS 1 MYANMAR 1
6 Dec (Main Stadium): VIETNAM 3 MALAYSIA 1/ TIMOR LESTE CAMBODIA
7 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): MYANMAR 1 SINGAPORE 2/ INDONESIA 0 LAOS 2
8 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): TIMOR LESTE 0 THAILAND 9/ CAMBODIA 0 MALAYSIA 4
10 Dec (Main Stadium): MYANMAR 3 INDONESIA 1/ LAOS 0 SINGAPORE 0
11 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): Cambodia vs Vietnam (1500hrs)/ Malaysia vs Thailand (1745hrs)
14 Dec (Chao Anu Vong Stadium): Semi-finals
17 Dec: Third/ Fourth Placing (1500hrs at Chao Anu Vong Stadium)/ FINAL (1700hrs at Main Stadium)
GROUP A (Current standings)
1. THAILAND 7pts (+13)
2. VIETNAM 7pts (+6)
3. MALAYSIA 6pts ( +13)
4. CAMBODIA 3pts (-5)
5. TIMOR LESTE 0pt (-27)
GROUP B (Final standings)
1. LAOS 5pts (+2)
2. SINGAPORE 5pts (+1)
3. MYANMAR 4pt (+1)
4. INDONESIA 1pt (-4)