'Tough away games' await War Elephants
Goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan winged in just in time yesterday to join the Thai national team's last training session at home ahead of their 2022 World Cup Group G qualifier at Malaysia on Thursday.
The War Elephants depart for Kuala Lumpur this morning and will later travel to Vietnam for another away group battle on Nov 19.
Two Japan-based stars -- left wing-back Theerathon Bunmathan and playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin -- will join the team today shortly before their departure.
Teenage Buriram United striker Suphanat Mueanta, who was a part of the Thai U19 squad which failed to make to it to the AFC U19 Championship after finishing third in their qualifying group in Cambodia, joined the camp last night.
Thailand currently lead the group standings with seven points, the same as Vietnam but are ahead on goal difference. The UAE, the top seeded team in the group, follow with six points and Malaysia three. Indonesia, who have played four matches, are still looking for their first point.
Kawin of OH Leuven in Belgium, who has lost his place on the starting line-up to team captain Siwarak Tedsungnoen, told the media yesterday that he was "fit and ready to play".
However, the 29-year-old goalkeeper is expecting tough games in Malaysia and Vietnam.
"Of course, to go and play two away matches in Malaysia and Vietnam is always tough. They are among the top Asean teams," Kawin said.
"We'll face a lot of pressure from their fans, but I believe that every player in the team is experienced enough to handle such pressure."
Meanwhile, the national U23 squad returned to training after suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of China U23 team in a warm-up game in Pathum Thani on Saturday.
The team are preparing to defend their SEA Games title in the Philippines, starting later this month.
They are scheduled to play another warm-up game against Myanmar on Wednesday at Chulalongkorn Stadium and will depart for Manila on Nov 23.