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5 highlights when Thailand stopped in the quarter-finals of Asian U23

Siam Sport appreciates the depth of the Thai squad and expresses regret when Nishino’s teachers and students lost because of a decision from VAR.

Team depth is considered an important factor throughout Thailand’s U23 Asia 2020 journey. In the final match against Iraq, coach Akira Nishino replaced seven positions in the starting line-up. In the match against Saudi Arabia, the pillars of the previous rest are back.

Thailand played with four attacks including Suphanat Mueanta, Supachai Jaided, Supachok Sarachat and Anon Amornlerdsak. Despite many players, Thailand still played smoothly and joined well in the first 20 minutes of the match.

Compared to the 4-2-3-1 scheme that Nishino usually applies to the Thai team, the U23 team came out with a 4-4-2 diagram on January 18, with the intention of beating the opponent.

Suphanat and Anon are constantly moving in the inner corridor (the area between the border and the middle), and Supachok and Supachai actively move back, supporting the ball from the downline. This style of play clearly shows Nishino’s understanding of the opponent, while giving Thailand an impressive first half, despite being underestimated.

In the second half, when physical strength went down, Thailand had to retreat to play counterattack. In the 78th minute, striker Abdullah Al-Hamdan fell in the penalty area of ‚Äč‚ÄčThailand.

Initially, referee Ahmed Al-Kaf gave Saudi Arabia a free kick on the edge of the penalty area because Soorawit pulled Al-Hamdan shirt from outside the round of 16m50. But after consulting VAR, the Oman referee gave the West Asian team a penalty, despite the fierce reaction of Nishino’s teachers and students when he thought that Soorawit’s ball was not on Al-Hamdan’s foot.

Siam Sport considered this a VAR incident, because the technology did not require the referee Al-Kaf to review the video. In addition, the layout of the arbitration also made the Thai newspaper questioned because all four control arbitrators were from West Asia.

Although there was not much time to find a equalizer, Thailand was not dismayed. Nishino coach immediately put Worachit and Ben Davis on the pitch to strengthen the attack. However, “War Elephants” can not penetrate the tight defense of Saudi Arabia.

Failure in the quarterfinals but Thailand brought many optimistic signals. In addition to the first round of the Asian U23 group, Nishino teachers and students have specific and effective plans to face the top continental teams such as Australia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Young Thai players dare to play football, and stay cool even when faced with adverse decisions. They really won the hearts of Thai fans.

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U23 Thailand lost to Australia because of Nishino’s over-confidence

In the press conference room after the match, coach Nishino admitted he kept the starting line up against Bahrain because “all 11 players understood the system and were too familiar with each other”.

Mr. Nishino said no mistake. It is no coincidence that Thailand U23 crush Bahrain to 5-0 in the first round and sometimes overwhelms Australia.

But also by keeping the 11-person system that made Thailand suffer a bitter defeat at Rajamangala.

The mobility of star players from Buriram United such as Supachok, Supachai and Suphanat helped U23 Thailand completely overwhelm Australia. There are even times when the visitors only take the match after receiving continuous punches from Thailand’s diverse and diversified attack.

Highlights in this way of kicking Thailand are two full-backs Thitathorn and Marhasaranukun rising very high when attacking. The Thai system was then 2-4-4 instead of 4-2-3-1 as usual. The overwhelming number of troops when attacking gives Thailand many options to deploy.

With just a few simple combinations, No. 3 Thitathorn has the opportunity to finish. This is also the situation that created a goal for Thailand.

Besides, the ability to move synchronously and intelligently of players like Supachok or Suphanat makes the Thai side pieces especially dangerous. From such a arrangement, U23 Thailand had an opening goal.

At this point, the downside of keeping the starting lineup unchanged is obvious. Supachai and Suphanat after 2 games running at full capacity in just 3 days, they were tense and had to leave the field. This type of injury is not too harmful in the long run but when the player is involved, he will definitely have to leave the field.

Trauma and replacement are not the worst hurdles. The rest of Thailand’s players also after two games of full capacity were exhausted in the rest. They were constantly cramping, shaking their heads and demanding replacement. The substitution is limited, so U23 Thailand almost fell into a handicap situation in the second half of the second half.

The table conceded thus came in an inevitable way with Thailand. They can only walk and so much effort is not enough before Australia is particularly prolific.

U23 Thailand has times overwhelming Australia, can even be considered as overwhelming opponents with technology, the ability to coordinate methodically and efforts of individual stars.