| KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30, 2008) – Asean champions Thailand picked up their first three points in their second match in Group B of the KL World 5s when they beat China 5-1 here at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur.
The Thais, who were held to a pulsating 3-3 draw by Holland last night, came out with all guns blazing and scored all their goals in the first half, while China scored their first goal of the tournament late in the second half.
“It was a little taxing since we just played last night but the players kept to the tactics, and that was to control the ball and play a patient game,” said Pattaya Piemkum, the head coach of Thailand.
“We will be playing matches everyday so it is important that the team play to instructions and not suffer any injuries. After the win today, we will have to play Brazil next and we have to be well-prepared,” he added.
Even without prolific striker Anucha Munjarern – who was serving a two-match international ban – the Thais were obviously a class above the Chinese, and their excellent ball control contributed to their first goal.
Ekapong Suratsawang opened his team’s account with two quick strikes in the fourth and fifth minute, before his twin brother Ekaphan chalked his name on the score sheet two minutes later.
Sermphan Khumthinkaew and Nattaphon Suttiroj then completed the rout with two more goals in the tenth and 11th minute for Thailand to lead comfortably in front.
The second half saw the Thais stepping off the pedal somewhat, to allow China to score their first goal of the tournament off Zhang Xi in the 35th minute.
“I am not at all disappointed with the score line because of the disparity between the two teams. But I thought that the first half, we did not play well as we could. We gave away easy counter-attacks and for a team like Thailand, they will capitalise on it. We have learnt a lot in these two games and the players can only improve from this experience,” said Farinha, the head coach for China.
PIC: NATTHAPON SUTTIROJ (in yellow) of Thailand reels away after scoring against China.