Thailand’s hopes of reaching the third round of 2022 World Cup Qualifying were dashed with a 3-1 defeat against the UAE on Monday night. The War Elephants arguably put up a better performance than in their game against Indonesia, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get the better of their hosts.
GK – Siwarak Tedsungneon (6): Siwarak looked like a hero after denying Ali Mabkhout in a one-on-one situation which would’ve doubled the UAEs lead, but he should have done better in parrying Fabio Lima’s effort for the eventual second goal. Overall, an average performance from the veteran goalkeeper.
RB – Narubadin Weerawatnodom (6): Unlike in the previous match, Narubadin demonstrated neither the defensive solidity or attacking prowess he is normally capable of. He also went to ground during the UAEs first goal, though its possibly unfair to have expected him to prevent it
CB – Manuel Bihr (6): Bihr was the better of the two central defenders this time around, making no notable mistakes and putting in a few good challenges and interceptions. However, as a unit the Thai defence was still lacking, and his communication with Suphan Thongsong remains a major issue.
CB – Suphan Thongsong (5): Another night to forget from the Suphanburi FC captain. Suphan’s poor clearance led to the first goal, and was once again a result of lacking communication. The leadership and dominance of his area which he regularly shows at club level were absent in this match.
LB – Sasalak Haiprakhon (6): Sasalak was an energetic attacking presence for Thailand down the left, helping to creating pressing overloads. However, he was substituted at half time, seemingly with the aim of gaining more defensive solidity
CM – Thitipan Puangchan (8): Thitipan’s presence was a significant injection of energy into the middle of the park, and his ability to cover ground was crucial in allowing the side to enact Nishino’s high-pressing plan. His leadership was also crucial in improving Thailand’s organization in midfield.
CM – Sarach Yooyen (6): Sarach helped Thailand recycle possession from the base of midfield, which was a better fit for his range and skillset, but he struggled with the intensity off the ball and didn’t provide enough cover.
AM – Ekanit Panya (5): Ekanit demonstrated much more fight and hunger off the ball versus UAE than he did in previous game against Indonesia. However, the Chiangrai United playmaker left much to be desired on the ball and seem to be on different wavelength to his teammates.
AM – Supachok Sarachat (6.5): Supachok drew a handful of fouls from the opposition and created Thailand’s first major chance of the game when he teamed up with his brother, Suphanat, on the left-flank. Despite looking lively in the first-half, the Buriram star’s influence faded in the second-half when Thailand took controlled possession.
AM – Suphanat Mueanta (7.5): The scorer of Thailand’s only goal, Suphanat was a lively presence up top, pressing intensely off the ball and linking up well with his teammates in possession. He demonstrated excellent composure and a lethal instinct to tuck his chance away as well.
ST – Supachai Jaided (6): Supachai carried out his role in Thailand’s high-pressing tactics well and didn’t hesitate to sprint back and cut out UAE’s counter-attack. Having said that, the forward should have done better with his hold-up play and barely made a difference in attack during his time on the pitch.
SUB – Ernesto (6): After his struggles against Indonesia, Ernesto made a more positive contribution to Thailand’s efforts in this match, sending in the corner which led to Suphanat’s goal. He also improved upon his defensive positioning.
SUB – Sathaporn Daengsee (6): After his introduction, the left-footed defender improved Thailand’s passing out from the back and thus allowed the offensive players to remain in attacking positions higher up the pitch. Sathaporn nearly gifted UAE a golden chance but did well to recover and support Manuel Bihr.
SUB – Siwakorn Tiatrakul (5): The Chiangrai star has been slowly transforming into a deep-lying playmaker at club level, but was expected to join Thailand’s front-line after coming on for Suphanat. Now largely unfamiliar in this role, he made little impact after coming on.
SUB – Pathompol Charoenrattanapirom (6.5): The winger showed energy and urgency once he came off the bench. Though he couldn’t produce an end-product, Pathompol’s pace and flair did gave the UAE defence something new to deal with.
SUB – Adisak Kraisorn (N/A): Not enough time on the pitch