Thailand's men's national team secured their win of GROUP F and advance to the round of 12 in FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018 qualifications, after a 2-2 draw with Iraq. The match was played in Tehran on March 24th, with a team of referees from Qatar.
With the draw, Thailand now have 14 points, and though Iraq has a game in hand, even with a win their 9 points means they will be unable to catch Thailand.
SCG Muangthong United sent 8 players to represent Thailand, with 4 players getting the start. It was a match Thailand almost won. The War Elephants opened the scoring at the 39th minute when Tossakrai’s header off a corner was placed nicely past the Iraqi keeper.
Iraq equalized at the 66th minute when a shot was blocked by SCG Muangthong’s keeper Kawin, however the rebound allowed the Iraq forward Kamil to charge onto the ball for the goal.
The match looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw until at the 86th minute. A foul on Muanghtong’s midfielder Sarach Yooyen set up a free kick. The cross, deflected by an Iraqi player, fell to the edge of the 6 yard box where Kraisorn beat the defender to the ball to give Thailand the lead.
Yet Thailand were denied the win when Iraq got one back in extra time. In the final minute of the match the shot Buriram’s Korawit redirected a shot into his own net in an attempt to clear the ball off the line. Iraq’s attacker Ali Adnan was given credit for the goal as the ball appeared to be on the way in when the clearance happened.
The 12 teams of the next round will be drawn into two round-robin, home-and-away groups of six teams each.
The Thai National Team will have a friendly match this Sunday at the Suphchalasai Stadium with the Korean National Team. The match has been arranged as Korea’s game with Kuwait has been postponed.