Thailand War Elephants Eager for Victory in Asian Cup Opener Against Kyrgyzstan

Qatar, January 17, 2024

As Thailand gears up for their opening Asian Cup Group F clash with Kyrgyzstan in Qatar on Tuesday, coach Masatada Ishii is confident about his starting line-up for the crucial encounter. The War Elephants conducted their first training session on Friday night amidst a cooling temperature of 21°C in the Qatari capital.

Following a rigorous one-hour and 30-minute practice, Ishii expressed satisfaction with the team’s preparation and hinted at his preferred starting 11. However, the Japanese coach acknowledged that adjustments might be made based on various factors.

While I may change my mind depending on certain factors, at the moment, we are focused on acclimating the players to the weather conditions and refining our tactical approach,” Ishii stated.

Thailand finds itself in Group F alongside Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, and Oman for the prestigious tournament, which commenced in Doha on Friday night. The War Elephants will face Oman on January 21 and then challenge former champions Saudi Arabia four days later.

In a tournament featuring six groups of four teams each, the top two from every group advance to the last 16, joined by the four best third-placed teams. The grand finale is scheduled to take place at the 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium on February 10.

Thai winger Bordin Phala emphasized the team’s focus on taking each match as it comes. Despite grappling with jet lag, Phala expressed confidence that the team would overcome the challenge soon.

It won’t be an easy tournament for any team, so we have to stay focused on the job at hand. We are expecting tough games, but the opening match of any tournament is always the most difficult one. “”We aim to secure a victory in our first match against Kyrgyzstan, targeting the full three points.”, We will have to train hard and prepare the team well for every match, remarked Phala.

Thailand’s much-anticipated opening match against Kyrgyzstan will be broadcast live on PPTV HD (Channel 36) and T Sport (Channel 7) at 9:30 PM (Thai time) on Tuesday. Football enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the War Elephants’ quest for victory in this thrilling Asian Cup campaign.

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