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THAILAND VOWS TO FIGHT UNTIL THEY DROP IN 2ND LEG OF SUZUKI CUP FINAL


PhilBoxing.com




Pre-tournament favorites Thailand, down 3 goals to 1 going into the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup Finals at the Supachalasai stadium in Bangkok has vowed to fight until they drop against Singapore in Saturday’s match.

These were the defiant words of captain Panupong Wongsa as the Thais face a tough task to lift the trophy for the first time in a decade.

The Bangkok Post reported that Panupong, who was stretched off injured after 25 minutes at Jalan Besar stadium, said Thailand were capable of coming back in the return leg at Supachalasai stadium.

Panupong said "We will be playing at home and everyone will run until they drop for the country and the fans," said Panupong. "We will play to our full capacity and cover the whole field. It is not a problem for us to win 2-0 - that was the score against Malaysia [in the semi-final second leg]."

The Thai players had a light training session after their return from Singapore.

Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer who was banished to the stands in a game in the group stages for incessant complaining from the sidelines has once again complained that his team should have been awarded a penalty in the first leg for a handball by a Singapore player.

The often cocky coach said Thailand had to go on the attack from the start in the second leg although he may have to change some tactics.

The German said “We still have another game in Bangkok and I am confident that we will win."

The Post said that Panupong, Anucha Kitpongsri, Datsakorn Thonglao and Adul Lasoh, who scored Thailand's only goal in the first leg on Wednesday, were nursing injuries with Team doctor Pornthep Mamanee saying that Anucha, who had a groin injury, looked unlikely to play on Saturday while the others should be fit for selection.

Thailand and Singapore are chasing a record fourth title in the Southeast Asian Championship which was launched in 1996.

Thailand won their third title in 2002 while the Lions matched the Thais' feat with their third crown in 2007 with a win over the War Elephants in the final.No team has managed to overcome any sort of deficit in the final to win the AFF Suzuki Cup since the final was first played over two legs in 2007.

Singapore beat the Philippines in the semi finals with a scoreless draw in the first leg in Manila and a heartbreaking 1-0 win over the Azkals in the return leg in Singapore while Thailand beat the Philippines 2-1 in the Group stages.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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