Thailand beaten as Saudis stay on course for World Cup

Saudi Arabia WC qualifiers

Thailand have yet to register a win after losing 3-0 to Saudi Arabia in their 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier at the Rajamangala Stadium on Thursday.

  • Thailand 0 Saudi Arabia 3
  • El Sahlawi opens scoring
  • Green Falcons hold at HT
  • Kesarat nets own-goal
  • Al-Moasher scores late third
  • Saudi Arabia remain 1st, Thailand last

Match Summary

The scoreline perhaps flattered the visitors after a gutsy display from the hosts throughout the qualifying fixture. It was an inspirational defensive performance for the most part by the Thais, who threatened with their pacey counter-attacking threats. 

However, the table toppers were just too good for the War Elephants – with clinical finishes from Mohammed Al Sahlawi and Salman Almuwashar sandwiching an own-goal by Tanaboon Kesarat.

Full Report

The visitors have, unsurprisingly, had the majority of possession in the opening stages of the encounter. Salman Al Faraj had the first chance when he ran onto a loose ball in the Thai penalty area, but the midfielder's cutback was poked behind by defender Adisorn Promrak.

Bert van Marwijk's side looked comfortable in possession but lacked their usual incisiveness in front of goal, as they were clearly stifled by the 3-4-1-2 formation deployed by head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang.

Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia took the lead in clinical fashion in the 25th minute through Al Sahlawi, after running onto a lovely ball from midfielder Nawaf Al-Abed.

In the second half, the Thai's put up a good fighting display to restrict the Green Falcons to a few clear-cut opportunities, but unfortunately, their deep-lying defence backfired with Kesarat netting an own-goal six minutes from time.

And in stoppage time, with the War Elephants looking disjointed due to fatigue, the Group B leaders added a third after Taisir Al Jassim raced through to tee up substitute Almuwashar.