Group D: Thailand 5-1 Jordan
Taipei: Thailand kicked off their AFC Futsal Championship Group D campaign with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Jordan on Friday.
Thailand ended the first half with three goals from Apiwat Chaemcharoen and Jirawat Sornwichian, while Musa Abu Shaikha found the back of the net for Jordan in the second half, but further goals by Jetsada Chudech and Kritsada Wongkaeo were more than enough to secure all three points.
From the beginning, it was evident that both sides were cautious about making mistakes and adopted a guarded approach.
Thailand, however, almost had free reign of the ball, as Jordan kept to their half and looked to pounce on the counter and one such move in the seventh minute saw them making their first attempt.
However, it backfired as Suphawut Thueanklang neatly intercepted a pass and surged down the other end with Chaemcharoen to set up a two-on-one against goalkeeper Majed Mahmoud Alhafi, who had no chance against Chaemcharoen’s close range effort.
Three minutes later, Samer Naser was shown the red card for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity with a hand ball, and Sornwichian duly converted the penalty to give Thailand a two-goal advantage.
Whenever in possession, Jordan had a few close attempts of their own, but Thailand had their own share of moving on the counter, and two minutes from half-time Chudech broke into a sprint before passing to Chaemcharoen who was on the left flank to hit home at the Xinzhuang Stadium.
Less than 20 seconds into the second half, Jordan reduced their deficit when Abu Shaikha sidestepped Chaivat Jamrajang in front of the box with a superb strike to the top left corner.
Thailand upped their tempo and in a counter in the 33rd minute, Chudech regained their two-goal lead with a close range shot, before skipper Wongkaeo too etched his name on the scoreboard a few minutes later, courtesy of Thueanklang’s pass into the box.
Matchday Two will feature Thailand against Lebanon, while Jordan take on Kyrgyz Republic on Sunday.
Jose Maria Pazos: Thailand Head Coach
“It’s always good to start with a victory, and we did well in the first few minutes. In my opinion, our team actually lost control of the game when we had three goals. The boys lost their concentration and played on the counter attack which meant playing to Jordan’s advantage. Moving forward, we need to be smarter and more patient in controlling the game. Jordan were a strong team but I think once they lost their key player to the red card, we had the upper hand. Lebanon are also good opponents, as we have played against them many times. I have personal experience with them. We know each other very well. They have been playing with a better commitment and confidence in the past year, and we need to watch out for that.”
Saleh Abu Jafer: Jordan Head Coach
“We were against Thailand who are one of the best teams, with players who have a lot of experience. Our players, on the other hand, don’t have much experience. Some of them have less than 10 competitive matches. We now know what our mistakes are, and we will have to fix them before we go against Kyrgyz Republic. It’s going to be an important game for sure and we hope to play better and qualify to the next round.”