Boost for hosts Thailand as wonderkid returns from injury for 2020 AFC U23 Championship


Hosts Thailand have been handed a fillip after one of their key attackers has been declared fit ahead of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship set to begin next week. 

The 2020 edition of the continental championship will be held from January 8 to 26 in Thailand and will witness the participation of 16 teams from across Asia — including Thailand and Vietnam from Southeast Asia.

And in what comes as a boost for Thailand head coach Akira Nishino, 17-year-old senior international Suphanat Mueanta has returned to training after nursing an injury that he picked up during last month’s 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Philippines.

AFC Champions League 2019: Buriram United 1-3 Beijing Guoan – Suphanat Muenta (80′)

The Buriram United youngster had missed the start of Thailand U-23 side’s training camp, but has now told the Bangkok Post that he is fit and raring to go in the AFC U23 Championship.

“It’s good finally to be back with the team. I need to train hard and work with my teammates and improve our teamwork,” Suphanat was quoted as saying by the Thai news outlet.

Hosts Thailand are in Group A of the continental championship and in the company of Iraq, Australia and Bahrain. Top two teams from the group will make it to the knockout stages of the competition.

“This tournament will be tough but I think we have a chance to make it through the group stage. All of our opponents are strong but it is a chance to measure ourselves against the best teams of Asia,” he said.