Thailand beat Indonesia for first 2022 World Cup qualifier win



Indonesia’s Andik Vermansah (left) fights for the ball with Supachok Sarachat during the World Cup Group G Asia qualifying soccer match at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Tuesday. (AP photo)

Thailand gave new national team coach Akira Nishino his first win in the 2022 World Cup Asian Zone Group G qualifier on Tuesday with a 3-0 victory over Indonesia in Jakarta.

The War Elephants scored all three goals in the second half after a goalless draw in the first 45 minutes. Supachok Sarachat scored the first goal 11 minutes into the second half and Theerathon Bunmathan made it 2-0 with a penalty kick seven minutes later. Supachok wrapped up the win with his second goal in the 71st minute to give the visitors three points.

The match played at the 80,000-seat Gelora Bung Karno Stadium but only some 10,000 Indonesian fans were at the venue to cheer their home team.

Thailand needed a win after the War Elephants were held to a goalless home draw by Southeast Asian rivals Vietnam in their first group game on Thursday in Bangkok. The Garudas also suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Malaysia in their first match.

Nishino, who has faced criticism for going into the Vietnam game without a specialist striker, said on Monday his men needed to score goals in Indonesia.

“After the match with Vietnam, we have had time to prepare the team and I can say that we are getting better,” said the veteran coach, who took Japan to the last 16 stages of the 2018 World Cup.



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