Saudi Arabia, Thailand Look To Continue Winning Momentum

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Defending champions Saudi Arabia will not take Thailand lightly when the two sides face off in Group C of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024, with both teams seeking to continue their winning momentum at Khalifa International Stadium today.

Saad Al Shehri's side beat Tajikistan 4-2 in their opening match on Tuesday but will be wary of the threat that Thailand pose after the Southeast Asian side began strongly by defeating Iraq 2-0.

After seeing his charges concede two avoidable goals to Tajikistan, Al Shehri will be looking to shore up his team's defence as Saudi Arabia look to take a firm control of the group with Paris Olympics 2024 qualification on the line.

The win over Iraq has raised expectations of a prolonged run but Thailand head coach Ithsara Sritharo is only looking to continue in the same vein and ensure that his players adhere to the game plan.

Goals from Waris Choolthong and Teerasak Poeiphimai earned Thailand the unexpected win over the more-fancied Iraqis, and Ithsara will look to harness that confidence against the defending champions.

“Our confidence is boosted by the performance in the first game, a game where we worked hard to get the result that we wanted,” said Ithsara.

“For Saudi Arabia, we have our plan just like how we managed to come out with a plan for Iraq, their game against Tajikistan will also be considered for how we devise our plan.”

Meanwhile, head coach Radhi Shenaishil is focused on leveraging Iraq's extensive preparation to inspire a turnaround when they take on Tajikistan in other Group C game at Al Janoub Stadium.

Despite dominating most of the match, the 2013 champions were bested 2-0 by Thailand in their opener but Shenaishil remains confident of their chances as he believes in the mental strength and unity of his squad.

“We will try our best to raise the morale of the players, correct the mistakes, and choose the best formation and system,” said Shenaishil.“We know about all the players, they've been with us for some time, but their readiness levels are different.”

“Some players couldn't join us early and some of the players don't have experience at such tournaments, but we will be ready for the following match.”

Iraq, however, will face an equally optimistic Tajikistan side, who despite suffering a 4-2 defeat to Saudi Arabia, showcased tremendous improvement from their first appearance two years ago.

Finding themselves at the bottom of the table, head coach Mubin Ergashev promised a driven and focused Tajikistan, with the Central Asian side chasing their first ever points.

“We will be ready for the game against Iraq,” said Ergashev.

“We will analyse Iraq's match (against Thailand) to have a clear picture.

“We also want to identify our faults and correct them, while also looking to see where we can utilise our strengths.”


The Peninsula

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.