Thailand thrashed Taiwan 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier clash at Rajamangala National Stadium on Thursday.
The visitors had a dream start as they took the lead shortly after the referee blew initial whistle. The War Elephants came from behind to cement the top position in Group F. Taiwan entered Thursday’s encounter to end their winless campaign in the tournament.
The island state was on track to bag three points in Bangkok but resilient and well-organized Thailand maintained their unbeaten record in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Kiatisak Senamuang’s men have booked a berth in Asia’s final qualifying round for the four yearly mega event.
Taiwan went ahead when Yen Tavio put the ball past Thai goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan with a precise header off a corner kick by Lin Che-Yu. Tavio’s goal silenced thousands of home fans dressed up in blue shirts.
The hosts kept the ball in the midfield and created a number of goal scoring opportunities in search of an equalizer. On the other hand, Taiwan stepped up their defense to put the Group F leaders at bay. After a display of attacking and defending football, Teerasil Dangda broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Muangthong United forward netted a cross from Pokklaw Anan.
After the break, the home side started as a disciplined side while Taiwan lost the rhythm after conceding the first goal. More than 50,000 spectators roared and stood on their feet as the hosts earned the lead for the first time when Pokklaw put his team in front just seven minutes into the second half.
After being a goal down, former Chinese territory staged a fabulous comeback in the 65th minute when Chen Wei-Chwan scored the goal to make the score 2-2. Seven minutes later, substitute Adisak Kraisorn put the Elephants ahead for the second time in the evening.
Taiwan’s hopes of a draw were shattered when another substitute Thana Chanabat scored a spectacular goal in the 74th minute. The traveling side showed worse football in the later part of the game as they played rough football and lacked discipline in the field.
In March 2016, Thailand will be traveling to Iraq for their last fixture of the Round 2 World Cup qualifiers. IMAGE/Getty Images