Thailand’s football teams start their defence this afternoon with the men aiming for the 16th gold medal and the women the sixth.
The men’s side, coached by Worrawoot Srimakka, will launch the Group B action against 1991 champions Indonesia at 3pm today at the Shah Alam Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on CH9 MCOT HD.
“The main goal is to get points from the opening game. We don’t know whether it rains or not tomorrow but my players are looking forward to proving themselves. If the condition of the pitch is good, they can show their talent and superiority over Indonesia,” said Worrawoot.
Thailand played out a 0-0 tie with Indonesia in the Asian Cup qualifiers last month at the Supachalasai field dampened by heavy rain and the coach has not forgotten the outcome.
“I can’t pinpoint our strengths. I feel my team is good in all aspects. At this point, every team in Asean is equally dangerous. It depends on which side can convert the opportunities better. The team that make use of their opportunities better can cast away the pressure,” the national head coach said.
The women’s side, coached by Spencer Prior, will face Myanmar at the UM Arena at the same time. In nine SEA Games women’s soccer competitions, Thailand won five times while Vietnam claimed gold medals on four occasions.
In yesterday’s women’s netball competition, Malaysia outclassed Thailand 73-30 at the Juaram Stadium. The Thai netball team will play their second match against the Philippines at 3pm today.
Meanwhile, Thai chef-de-mission Thana Chaiprasit said Malaysia have denied permission to athletes to bring food from outside into the Games cafeteria out of hygienic concerns. He said the hosts believed food prepared by them was safe and clean for athletes. However, if athletes wanted to bring their own food, the chef-de-mission of the country had to attest, giving details of the ingredients used in the food.
According to Thana, Thai athletes wanted rice, which was not provided in the breakfast menu, and some of them brought food prepared by Thai House, which caters to the Thai delegation, into the cafeteria.