Thailand 1-1 UAE - FIFA 2018 Qualifications - Group 'B'
The Thailand man's national team gained another point in a 1-1 home draw with the United Arab Emirates in Group B FIFA 2018 qualifications.
Both countries are effectively out of the running for a spot in the 2018 World Cup, with Thailand at the bottom of the group with just 2 points. Key national team players such as Teerasil Dangda, Chanathip Songkrasin, and Theerathon Bunmathan were not listed, recovering from fatigue and injury from a grueling first leg of the season. It was also the first official match for Milovan Rajevic as the new Head Coach.
Rajevic opted for a starting XI made up of several Kirin players, complimented by a few others given the nod as a chance to show their potential.
Nevertheless the teams played a spirited match, and although UAE had the better share of possession, Thailand were not going to surrender. Defender Adisorn Promrak had a strong match, and almost had a goal with a strong header cleared off the line by the UAE defense. The Kirin keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan made several big saves to keep the War Elephants in the match.
Muangthong United striker Mongkol Tossakrai put Thailand ahead at the 70th minute. A strong run down the left flank by fullback Peerapat Notechaiya was followed with a low cross. The UAE keeper attempted to smother the ball but couldn't hold onto it. Mongkol had been bearing down on the cross, and was able to keep his balance while tackled to knock the loose ball in.
UAE stepped up the pressure following the goal and looked as if they wanted the 3 points. The Kirin defended hard, however an injury time moment of lost focus allowed Ali Mabkhout to equalize.
The War Elephants will play their next match at home against Iraq on August 31st, and Group B action concludes on September 5th with a visit to Australia, the only other team Thailand were able to earn a point from.