Thailand were held to an immensely frustrating 2-2 draw against Indonesia in their World Cup Qualifying encounter on Thursday evening, leaving them in a precarious position. Despite a strong start, in which the War Elephants hit the front after just five minutes, Indonesia fought their way back into the game and limited Akira Nishino’s men to just four shots on target.
The performance was disappointing as many players struggled to live up to their usual standards.
GK – Siwarak Tedsungnoen (6): The captain did what he could, closed down the opposition well and wasn’t at fault for the two goals conceded.
RB – Narubadin Weerawatnodom (7): Narubadin scored the opening goal from a corner-kick rebound and was consistently a dominant presence to help Thailand control their right side. A solid performance overall, but he could have scored even higher if he had used the space on the flank to make another decisive contribution.
CB – Manuel Bihr (4): One of the worst performances from Bihr in the Thai jersey. The Bangkok United star decided not to follow his man and instead called for an offside decision that didn’t come, leading to Indonesia’s first equaliser. Bihr has rarely, if ever, paired up with Suphan Thongsong for Thailand hence the lack of chemistry between them. However, better is expected from someone who is regarded as Changsuek’s first-choice centre-back.
CB – Suphan Thongsong (5): Suphan initially struggled to keep up with the pace and intensity of the game. He redeemed himself with a headed assist for Adisak’s goal and made an excellent recovery tackle late in the second half to stop Indonesia’s breakaway, but can’t earn a higher rating in light of Thailand’s shambolic defending overall.
LB – Ernesto (4): Faced with two rampaging attackers down Thailand’s left, Ernesto was a defensive liability in this match. Things improved for him when Supachok came on and occupied right-back Asnawi, but the damage was already done.
CM – Phitiwat Sukjitthamakul (6): Phitiwat kept things simple, was firm in his challenges and protected the central area of the pitch well. However, the Chiangrai captain didn’t offer much going forward. Not a bad game at all, but surely room for improvement for someone of his calibre.
CM – Sarach Yooyen (5): Sarach mostly played ‘safe’ at the base of midfield for the whole game and offered very little in the way of forward passes. Generally disappointing from a player considered to be an ‘elder statesman’ of the team, and reflected in how Thailand only had four shots all game.
CAM – Thanawat Suengchitthawon (8): Arguably the only bright spot for Thailand on the night, Thanawat showed composure on the ball and helped Thailand advance up the midfield through Indonesia’s press. However, the final killer pass to split the opponents’ defence was lacking.
RM – Pathompol Charoenrattanapirom (5): Pathompol worked hard on and off the ball as usual, but still couldn’t provide that end-product in the final third. The winger’s crossing left much to be desired; he faded out of the game in the second half and was taken off in the 69th minute.
LM- Ekanit Panya (4): Ekanit struggled to create as Indonesia dominated down their right flank, and he didn’t have the energy to track back, leaving Ernesto isolated in two-on-one situations. He was also partially responsible for the second goal as he allowed Asnawi to break through down the right side.
ST – Adisak Kraisorn (6): He managed to get on the scoresheet but failed to impress with his all-round game. Adisak’s hold-up play and flick-ons didn’t connect with his teammates. Another player who faded out of the game. Adisak didn’t look as sharp in and around the box as he should have been.
SUB – Supachok Sarachat (7): Supachok’s introduction improved the team’s link-up play considerably, and he showed early signs of a good partnership with Thanawat. However, he struggled to make a decisive contribution when faced with the ticking clock and Indonesia’s deep block.
SUB – Suphanat Mueanta (6): Despite coming quite late off the bench, Suphanat made some dangerous runs and drew the attention of the Indonesian defenders, subsequently opening spaces for other Thai players. However, the young forward didn’t have enough time to produce a moment of magic.
SUB – Thitipan Puangchan (N/A): Not enough time on the pitch
SUB – Sasalak Haiprakhon (N/A): Not enough time on the pitch
SUB – Supachai Jaided (N/A): Not enough time on the pitch