| BANGKOK (Dec 26, 2007) – Thailand made the final of the 38th King’s Cup after edging Asian Cup champions Iraq 2-1 – courtesy of a late own goal from Mohammed Ahmed Abid Ali.
Up until the last ten minutes of play at the Stadium Rajamangala, the score was tied 1-1 after Nattaporn Phanrit’s header in the 44th minute was cancelled out by Iraq’s Mouslim Mobarak Almas in the 52nd minute.
Thailand made several changes to the line-up when they brought in SEA Game’s hotshot young striker Anon Sangsanoi to partner the talented Sarayuth Chaikamdee.
But the first half would prove to be uneventful where its only bright spark was a header from Nattaporn, who knocked in a cross from Sarayuth with just a minute left to the break.
Some lackadaisical Thai defending after the breather allowed Almas to equalize for Iraq when he slammed home from close range where soon afterwards, they were dominating play with several clear chances.
However, the Thai defence soaked up much of the pressure and that soon paid off when a seemingly innocuous cross from Narongchai Vachiraban in the 84th minute was headed into goal by Abid Ali.
Thailand will take on DPR Korea in the last match of the preliminary round while Iraq will take on Uzbekistan before the top two teams play in the final of the meet this year on Saturday.