By FOX Sports staff
The War Elephants opened their Group B campaign with a tricky tie against the Kuwaitis at the Rajamangala Stadium, and found themselves behind after 24 minutes when Theerathon Bunmathan, in a bid to block a Badel Al Mutwa shot, only managed to divert the ball into his own net.
Hussain Fadel then made it 2-0 on the hour mark when he headed home a freekick before substitute Hamad Aman wrapped up the three points seven minutes later when he raced through on goal to score, although Thailand did manage to pull one back 13 minutes from time when youngster Chanathip Songkrasin netted with a speculative long-range effort.
Speaking after the game, Schafer believes the damage had been done early on as his side struggled to cope with their physical opponents.
"Kuwait did well in the  Gulf Cup [of Nations] and we knew the match today [Wednesday] would be difficult," he said on the AFC's official website. "They were quite physical in the first half and got a number of yellow cards.
"Middle East teams play a different style from [Southeast Asian] teams and, by the time we adapted, they were two goals ahead."
The German also admitted his side failed to live up to the standards they set at last year's AFF Suzuki Cup, where they made the final before being beaten by Singapore 3-2 on aggregate.
"We did not play as well as during the AFF Suzuki Cup but I cannot give you the reason why," he added.
Schafer's opposite number Goran Tufegdzic was delighted with the way his side picked up all three points in Bangkok, a place he believes is always tough to get a result.
"I am very satisfied with today's [Wednesday's] game," he said. "Thailand are a good team and it is a difficult place to get a result.
"My team were dangerous on the counterattack and had many chances to score in the first half. After we scored the second goal in the second half, I thought that was the game over."
The 41-year-old was also pleased that his side were able to play according to their game plan, something he believes was key to the victory.
"It was our strategy to play on the counterattack and to cut down the space that Thailand had," Tufegdzic added.
"We prepared seriously for this game and we were up against a very good team. I am very satisfied to start with three points in the Asian Cup qualifying."
In Group B's other clash, Iran cruised to a 5-0 win over ten-man Lebanon courtesy of a Javad Nekounam hat-trick and a brace from Reza Ghoochannejhad.