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Thailand coach Akira Nishino hopes win over UAE can spark run

Thailand coach Akira Nishino hopes their 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday will mark the start of a glorious run for the War Elephants.

Goals by Teerasil Dangda and Ekanit Panya, sandwiching an equaliser from Ali Mabkhout, helped the Thais beat world No. 66 UAE for the first time in 15 years.

The victory at the Thammasat Stadium in Bangkok also propelled the War Elephants, who are ranked world No. 114, to the top of their World Cup qualifying group.

Nishino, who took up the appointment only in July, said: "We have played only three matches and we don't want to look too far ahead.

"From this game against the UAE, we have learnt new things which will help when we face Malaysia in our next match (on Nov 14).

"We have to continue what we showed against the UAE, who are formidable opponents. We have to show that Thailand football can compete with the best."

Even though they were without their injured talisman Chanathip Songkrasin, the Thais were able to overcome their higher-ranked opponents with their teamwork, said Nishino.

"All the players helped and played for one another. We did well against the UAE because we played with more strength than they did from the start," said the Japanese tactician, who led the Samurai Blue to the Round of 16 of last year's World Cup.

"We have shown today that teamwork is very important and that it cannot just be about individual players."

UAE coach Bert van Marwijk was gracious in defeat.

The Dutchman, who coached Australia at last year's World Cup, said: "Playing at home and away is different, but we must admit that Thailand are strong."


  • Indonesia 1 Vietnam 3
  • Thailand 2 United Arab Emirates 1