Thailand will head into the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup on the back of a two-match winning run after defeating New Zealand 2-0 in their final warm-up friendly on Tuesday.
Prior to last Sunday’s match against Philippines, the War Elephants had played just thrice in 2014 and had failed to win in any of their clashes against Lebanon, Kuwait and China.
However, they did get back to winning ways against the Azkals as goals from Monkol Tossagri, Prakit Deeprom and Kroekrit Thaweekarn handed them a comfortable 3-0 triumph.
And it was a similar scenario in Korat on Tuesday evening as they claimed another win over a New Zealand side that had impressively held China to a 1-1 draw just four days ago.
Thailand took the lead a minute before halftime when Kirati Keawsombat reacted quickest as Sarach Yooyen’s miscued shot rolled towards him, and proceeded to lash a ferocious first-time shot into the back of the net.
15 minutes from time, they went on to seal the victory when Adisak Kraisorn – only moments after coming on as a substitute – fired home on the rebound, after Jacob Gleeson had failed to hold on to Sarawut Masuk’s initial 20-yard drive.
Apart from the fact that the Thais now head into the Suzuki Cup with a real confidence boost, coach Kiatisuk Senamuang will also be delighted with the way his side performed despite him resting a number of key players including captain Adul Lahso and playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin.
The War Elephants kick off their Group B campaign against hosts Singapore this Sunday, before facing off against Malaysia and Myanmar in the next week.
Thailand: Kawin Thamsatchanan, Peerapat Notechaiya, Narubodin Weerawatnodom (Artit Daosawang 62’), Adisorn Promrak (Suttinun Phuk-hom 48’), Pravinwat Boonyong, Tanaboon Kesarat, Sarach Yooyen, Prakit Deeprom (Sompong Soleb 62′), Monkol Tossagri (Sarawut Masuk 52’), Kroekrit Thaweekarn (Chainarong Tathong 72’), Kirati Keawsombat (Adisak Kraisorn 76’).
New Zealand: Jacob Gleeson, Storm Roux (Dan Keat 82’), Michael Boxall, Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne (Tyler Boyd 73’), Bill Tuiloma (Kayne Vincent 66’), Michael McGlinchey, Kosta Barbarouses (Jeremy Brockie 46’), Marco Rojas (Tim Payne 30’), Ryan Thomas, Chris Wood.