Somyot backing Thailand to spring a surprise

Gen Somyot Poompunmuang, president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), is optimistic that Thailand will emerge victorious in their FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Beating Saudi Arabia will be no easy feat for the War Elephants though as they have not triumphed over the Middle East nation since beating them 3-1 in an international friendly in October 1984.

Thailand will be heading into the game having lost 3-0 to Qatar last Friday, but Somyot is backing his side to come out on top.

“We have only one route that will take us to where we want to be,” Somyot told reporters. “I am confident that our players can do it because we have speed and good football skills. I think we can beat Saudi Arabia, although it is an away match.”

Meanwhile, Thailand coach Kiatisak Senamuang has high hopes for 23-year-old striker Siroch Chatthong, who plays Thai Division 1 League club Ubon UMT, after he impressed during the War Elephants’ loss to Qatar.

“We have followed Siroch’s progress for quite some time. I think he plays well for his club and we wanted to give him a chance in the national team,” Kiatisak said. “He will be a good example for the young players that they don’t need to play for the national U16 or U19 team to get selected for the senior squad. This will send a clear signal that players willing to work hard can succeed as well.”