Thailand goalkeeper Chatchai Budprom wished Malaysia’s footballers sweet dreams last night … but vowed they would wake up to a real-life nightmare in tonight’s second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final in Bangkok.
Milovan Rajevac and Chatchai Budprom
The 31-year-old Bangkok Glass player warned the visitors they would get a taste of their own medicine after the War Eelephants had to cope with huge pressure from more than 80,000 fans in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, when the first leg game ended goalless.
“Malaysia played so well and made it tough for us, which was not a surprise as they played at home,” said Chatchai. “But it will be different tomorrow. I’m sure they have known that what they will have to deal with from the moment they touched down. Different place and different people will make them realise the support here is only for us.”
Chatchai therefore urged the Thai fans to show up in as big numbers as possible to intimidate the neighbours and stand by his side no matter what.
“We have been working so hard and are willing to give it a fight out there,” he added. “I hope to see huge support for us, even in the bad times.
“I wish Malaysia a pleasant sleep because when they wake up there will be a nightmare on Wednesday. I can guarantee that.”
Meanwhile national coach Milovan Rajevac said he was ready to play however long it takes to reach Thailand’s fourth successive final since 2012.
“Even if there is extra time or a [penalty] shoot-out, our target is to win. What happened at Bukit Jalil will motivate our players to maximise their efforts and score goals at home,” said Rajevac, whose side is chasing a hat-trick of Suzuki Cup crowns and has won it five times, in 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2014-16.
Malaysian manager Tam Cheng Hoe hopes his players will maintain the momentum they created in last week’s home leg and go for goals to send the defending champions out of tournament.
“We are aware how tough Thailand are at home but if we are determined and feel confident we can stop Thailand and bring home a good result,” said Hoe.
The game kicks off at 7pm and will be shown live on Channel 7.