Coach urges War Elephants to continue after shock defeat to Malaysia

SOCCER: Thailand coach Mano Polking made a red card given to defender Jonathan Khemdee late in the first half for a shock 2-1 loss to arch-rivals Malaysia in the opening Group G match of the SEA Games in Vietnam on Saturday night (May 7). ) responsible. .

Thailand’s Ekanit Panya in action against Malaysia. Photo: Bangkok Post

Substitute Nur Azfar Fikri Azhar became Malaysia’s hero after rocking Thailand, who have won 16 SEA Games men’s football competitions, with an injury-time winner.

Azhar’s winner came after Danial Asri leveled Malaysia with War Elephants just after the hour mark, the reports Bangkok Post.

Thailand went in the 33rd minuteapprox Minute when Patrik Gustavsson capitalized on a defensive error and scored.

Polking told the media after the game that the red card for Jonathan, who was sent off three minutes before half-time for a foul on Syahir Bashah, was the “turning point” of the game.

“It’s disappointing that we lost the game in the last minute,” said Polking.

“But being a man down since the first half forced us to focus more on defense and play a game we are unfamiliar with.

“Then in the second half we lost Ekanit Panya through injury and it became even more difficult for us.

“We didn’t play well in the second half and the Malaysians took control of the game.

“There is no time for disappointments or regrets. We have to go on, win our remaining games and qualify for the next round.”

Thailand team manager Nualphan Lamsam apologized to Thai fans for the defeat and promised to do whatever it takes to win the remaining three group games.

Thailand meets Singapore tonight at 7pm (Phuket time) at Thien Truong Stadium, Nam Dinh.

In the other Group B game on Saturday, Singapore got off to a dramatic start to the tournament as they held Laos 2-2 with a late equaliser.

A strong and tenacious team from Laos took a 2-0 lead within the hour with goals from Ekkamai Ratxachak (14th minute).th minute) and Chony Wenpaserth (49th).

However, Singapore did not give up and in the 89thth Minute Glenn Kweh scored the first goal before Jordan Emaviwe equalized seconds before the final whistle.

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