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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Thailand’s World Cup Hopes End Despite Win Over Singapore

Despite defeating Singapore 3-1 in their final match of the preliminary qualifying round for the 2026 World Cup, Thailand’s hopes were dashed on Tuesday night at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok.

The War Elephants entered the Group C match needing a three-goal victory to overcome their goal-difference disadvantage against China, which had lost 1-0 to South Korea earlier. The win brought Thailand level with China in second place on eight points, with both teams having identical records of nine goals scored and nine allowed. However, Thailand finished third due to their head-to-head record, having lost 2-1 to China in the opening match last November. As a result, China advances to the next stage of the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.

The match saw Thailand dominate the first half, creating several promising chances. However, Singapore’s goalkeeper, Hassan Sunny, made several key saves. Thailand’s finishing was also lacking, with missed opportunities from Chanathip Songkrasin and Supachai around the 15-minute mark, and a blocked effort from Suphanan Bureerat.

In the 26th minute, Supachok Sarachat forced a save from Sunny, with Supachai unable to capitalize on the rebound. The breakthrough came in the 37th minute when Theerathon’s set-piece delivery allowed Chanathip to set up Suphanat for a goal.

Despite continued pressure, Thailand missed further chances, including a close-range effort from Sarach Yooyen that hit the post. Singapore equalized in the 57th minute with a spectacular goal from Ikhsan Fandi, who struck from outside the box.

Thailand regained the lead in the 79th minute with a goal from Poramet Arjvirai, assisted by Theerathon. Jaroensak Wonggorn added a third goal in the 86th minute, setting up a tense finish during added time, but Thailand failed to score the necessary fourth goal.

In other matches, Lee Kang-in of Paris Saint-Germain scored the only goal in South Korea’s 1-0 win over China, securing their spot in the third stage of qualifying. Indonesia also advanced from Group F with a 2-0 victory over the Philippines.

Officials attending the match included several from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Public Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, overseeing crowd safety and match regulations.

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