Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac is still confident his team will reach the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals as group leaders, despite watching his team drop its first points of the tournament in a 1-1 draw with the Philippines in Bacolod on Wednesday night.
The War Elephants took the lead through rising star Supachai Jaided, only to watch in horror as the home team levelled in the final minutes when Jovin Bedic’s deflected shot hit a post and rolled over the line.
The draw meant the two teams remain joint leaders with two wins and a draw from their three games, although Thailand has the edge in terms of goal difference, 15 to the Philippines’ five.
Thailand, with five wins to date, is the most successful team in the biennial tournament’s history and is bidding to complete a hat-trick of triumphs this year.
Rajevac was philosophical after watching his side drop their first points.
“Both teams worked really hard and the result was fair. Since Sven-Goran Eriksson came, the Philippines have introduced interesting tactics and are one of the teams to watch,” he said.
On the fluke equaliser, he added: “It was just unfortunate -- the ball deflected into the net. But that’s the way football is. We have to live with it.”
Thailand’s final group game is against Singapore at 7pm on Sunday and will be shown live on Channel 7.
“Our players have four days to recover before that game. We still have the same goal to be top of the group after Sunday and we will work our best to achieve the target,” Rajevac said.