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Focus on Thailand

Monday, December 4, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur: Thailand come into the draw at the end of a successful year, in which they remained unbeaten in all but their first match against China PR in January.

Head coach: Nuengrutai Srathongvian (THA)

Current FIFA ranking: 29

AFC Women’s Asian Cup appearances: 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014

Best finish: Champions (1983)

The Thais only required two matches to qualify for Jordan 2018.

They were dominant in a 6-0 win over host nation Palestine, before a Suchawadee Nildhamrong goal against Chinese Taipei confirmed an eighth consecutive appearance at the continental finals.

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup was the setting for one of Thailand’s landmark football moments four years ago, when they beat host nation Vietnam 2-1 to finish fifth and book a first ever ticket to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

They did Asia proud at Canada 2015, scoring a 3-2 win over Cote d’ivoire in one of the matches of the tournament, and qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France will be at the top of their agenda in Jordan next April.

As in 2014, Thailand will be coached by Nuengrutai Srathongivan, but she has only recently returned to the senior role, with former English Premier League defender Spencer Prior at the helm from May 2016 until September 2017.

Prior moved on following the SEA Games, where Thailand somewhat disappointingly missed out on a gold medal on goal difference after they were held to a draw by regional rivals Vietnam.

Thailand are likely to bring a highly experienced team to Jordan, with Naphat Seesraum, Nisa Romyen and Taneekarn Dangda just a few of the seasoned internationals at Nuengrutai’s disposal.

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Key player: Orathai Srimanee

She spent just nine minutes on the pitch at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but Orathai Srimanee (pictured above, left) has since become a key figure in Thailand’s successes at international level.

She became the first Thai player – male or female – to score at a senior 11-a-side FIFA World Cup, and added a second in the same match against Cote d’Ivoire to help Thailand to their first ever win on the global stage two years ago, and she has provided goals ever since.

Orathai was on the scoresheet against Palestine in Jordan 2018 qualifying, and hit three goals, including a crucial late winner against Myanmar, in the SEA Games in August.

Qualifying method


Thailand - 'A’ internationals in 2017

China PR0-2Four Nations TournamentFoshan, China19/01/2017
Ukraine1-0Four Nations TournamentFoshan, China21/01/2017
Myanmar3-0Four Nations TournamentFoshan, China24/01/2017
Palestine6-0WAC QualifiersAl-Ram, Palestine03/04/2017
Chinese Taipei1-0WAC QualifiersAl-Ram, Palestine07/04/2017
Chinese Taipei4-1FriendlyBangkok, Thailand10/06/2017
Myanmar3-2SEA GamesKuala Lumpur, Malaysia15/08/2017
Malaysia6-0SEA GamesShah Alam, Malaysia20/08/2017
Vietnam1-1SEA GamesShah Alam, Malaysia22/08/2017
Philippines3-1SEA GamesShah Alam, Malaysia24/08/2017
New Zealand0-0FriendlyBangkok, Thailand25/11/2017
New Zealand0-5FriendlyNonthaburi, Thailand28/11/2017

Photos:, AFC