Thais’ resolve put to the test in opening win in Suzuki Cup
BOCAUE – Favorites Thailand had to deal with a scare before pulling off a 4-2 victory against Indonesia to open its 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign Saturday at Philippine Sports Stadium here.
But coach Kiatisuk Senamuang knows that every match for the War Elephants in this tournament will be nothing short of difficult.
“The first game for us is always hard. Indonesia gave us a test and they really wanted to win,” he said.
Thailand went up 2-0 early, but Indonesia came back strong in the second half, stringing two goals in a
span of four minutes to force a 2-all deadlock.
Asked what went wrong for the Thais after the halftime break, Kiatisuk said that his team failed to defend the Garuda’s crosses, leading to the headers from Boas Salossa and Lerby Eliandry at the 53rd and 56th minutes.
“Indonesia kept on crossing and we paid dearly for it,” he said. “Though we went up 2-0, we’re a little bit lucky and we finished the game strong.”
Fortunately, striker Teerasil Dangda came to the aid of the defending champions, completing a hat trick in the match’s last 15 minutes to secure the win.
The 28-year-old team captain said that he doesn’t mind his final statline as long as the Thais came away with the win.
“I don’t think about all of my three goals. All I want is for my team to have the full three points in every match we play,” Teerasil said.