Asian Cup: Thailand recover with victory over Bahrain

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Asian Cup: Thailand recover with victory over Bahrain
Waleed Mohammed Alhayam of Bahrain and Adison Promrark of Thailand vie for the ball. (Photo by Shihab)

Dubai - The War Elephants, who were humbled 4-1 the other night, scored a solitary goal win over the Bahrainis in Group A at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday

By James Jose

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Published: Thu 10 Jan 2019, 8:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Jan 2019, 10:15 PM

Thailand recovered from their mauling at the hands of India, with victory over Bahrain, keeping their hopes alive in the AFC Asian Cup.
The War Elephants, who were humbled 4-1 the other night, scored a solitary goal win over the Bahrainis in Group A at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday.
After a goalless first half, Chanathip Songkrasin came up with a stellar effort on 58 minutes as interim coach Sirisak Yodyadthai, who replaced the axed Milovan Rajevac, heaved a sigh of a relief.
It was Bahrain who came up with the early run-ins while Thailand managed only one sortie in the opening minutes.
But it turned out to be an even first half as the War Elephants slowly found their way into the game. Where they were a bit erratic, losing hold of the ball against the fast-paced Bahrainis, Thailand managed to slow the pace down a bit and got hold of possession.
Before that, they managed to withstand the early onslaught from The Red by forming a fine defensive shape.
Bahrain earned a freekick 13 minutes into the game after midfielder Ali Jaafar Madan was brought down by Pansa Hemviboon. But the wall repelled Sayed Dhiya Saeed's shot from the dangerous position and although the ball still lurked dangerously inside the box, it was eventually cleared.
Five minutes later, Madan saw his looping header collected safely by Thailand shot-stopper Sivarak Tedsungnoen.
Thailand came close to going ahead against the run of play on 20 minutes after captain Teerasil Dangda found himself in a great position after being put through by Adisak Kraisorn. But his effort lacked venom and goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi rushed out to ward off the danger.
At the other end, Mohamed Marhoon's curling freekick from the left, just whizzed over the crossbar, a minute later.
Marhoon had another attempt close to the half hour but Tedsungnoen did well by pulling off a good save. Dangda then shot over the crossbar after a promising build-up on 37 minutes.
Mohamed Al Romaihi's headed just over the crossbar for Bahrain, to bring an end to the first half.
It remained a mystery as to what Yodyadthai said during the break but the his rallying cry seemed to have worked wonders as Thailand came out of the dug-out, an even better side.
Thailand dictated play right from the get go in the second half and were rewarded with the goal, just close to the hour. Fluent play by Thailand saw Tristan Do serve up an inch perfect cross from the right and Chanathip Songkrasin first-time shot with his left-foot, an absolute screamer, left Alawi with no chance at all.
They could have added to that lead on 72 minutes but were denied by the woodwork after Kraisorn's shot hit the right post following an assist from Songkrasin. They still could've come away with a 2-0 scoreline after Dangda embarked on a solo down the middle but Alawi came up with a fortuitous save.

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