MD2 - Group G: Indonesia 0-3 Thailand
Jakarta: Thailand flexed their muscles in the second half to beat Indonesia 3-0 in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA World Cup China 2023 Group G tie at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Tuesday.
It was Thailand's first win of their campaign, having drawn 0-0 with Vietnam last week, while Indonesia suffered a second consecutive defeat after having fallen 3-2 to Malaysia on Matchday One.
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Thailand controlled the early proceedings while Indonesia were content to sit back and hit on the counter-attack.
Thai star striker Chanathip Songkrasin and Ekanit Panya threatened from the flanks, but were unable to find a target with their crosses.
Thailand's first clear chance on goal came in the 13th minute, when Supachok Sarachat lobbed the ball over the Indonesian defence, but Panya’s volley only managed to find the side netting.
The back-and-forth action was nonstop with Indonesia coming close five minutes later when Irfan Bachdim relayed Andik Vermansah’s corner kick, teeing Hansamu Yuma Pranata for a close-range finish, but the defender failed to finish as neither side made a breakthrough in the first half.
Simon McMenemy’s Indonesia had an opportunity in the 51st minute when Thai defender Theeraton Bunmathan fouled Vermansah just outside the box, but Bachdim’s free-kick missed the target by mere inches.
The narrow escape woke Thailand up and they opened the scoring in the 55th minute when Sarachat was left with space to let loose a crackling strike from outside the box.
Things got from bad to worse for Indonesia eight minutes later when Thailand were awarded a penalty after Andritany Ardhiyasa was penalised for his tackle on Sarachat, and Bunmathan neatly converted the spot-kick with a fine shot to the top left corner of the net.
Bunmathan and Sarachat had tormented Indonesia throughout and an exchange of passes in the 72nd minute saw Sarachat making it 3-0.
Indonesia tried to claw their way back and threw men forward, but Thailand held on to secure the three points.
Indonesia will be aiming to bounce back against the United Arab Emirates when they travel to Dubai on October 10, before Thailand host the West Asians five days later.
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