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Kiatisuk Senamuang: 'Head coach Akira Nishino knows how to win Vietnam'

Kiatisuk Senamuang: 'Head coach Akira Nishino knows how to win Vietnam'

Thai football legend Kiatisuk Senamuang is confident in the home team will overcome the second qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Asia.

"Thailand has a very good opportunity to go on. Instead of confronting teams in the Middle East or Japan, South Korea, we only have to meet Southeast Asian rivals", Kiatisuk Senamuang told Siam Sport. "The first match against Vietnam depends on the adjustments of the new coach Akira Nishino. We don't know much about his philosophy, but I believe Nishino will succeed by experience and a deep understanding of football".

Historically, Thailand has twice reached the final qualifiers of the World Cup in 2002 and 2018. Kiatisuk is the nearest person to help them achieve this achievement. In the second qualifier four years ago, Thailand shared the same table with Vietnam and won both matches.

Compared to the time of Kiatisuk, the position between Vietnamese and Thai football backgrounds has changed. Park Hang-seo's teachers and students are being appreciated more and have won the Golden Pagoda 1-0 team at King's Cup 2019. "It was just a friendly tournament, this time an official tournament. We will know which team is stronger through this confrontation. I believe Thailand has many opportunities to go to the final qualifier, ”Kiatisuk said.

Kiatisuk Senamuang: Head coach Akira Nishino knows how to win Vietnam

Sharing views with Kiatisuk, Chairman of the Thai Football Federation (FAT) - Somyot Poompanmoung said: "This is a balanced table. We don't underestimate our opponents and so do they. In the first match against Vietnam, I think the team that is better prepared will win. Previously, we had won them, but this time everything was different. Anyway, I still believe in the team, who are always hungry to win".

FAT Secretary General, Witthaya Laohakul was surprised because the Thai table was like a miniature AFF Cup. He said: "The draw for Thailand has many opportunities. However, the most important thing now is that the players must adapt to the style of the new coach Nihsino. It takes time for the two to understand each other, before finding a stable framework".

In the last two years, Thai football has no longer maintained good achievements in the region and the continent. Part of the reason lies in their lack of suitable coaches. Witthaya commented: "Under Nishino's guidance, I believe Thailand will have a coherent and rich identity. He has experience creating confidence and discipline in a short time".

The first match in the second qualifying round of Thailand's 2022 FIFA World Cup is to meet Vietnam at home, September 5th. 

2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) draw

Group A: Guam, Maldives, Philippines, Syria, China.

Group B: Nepal, Kuwait, Taiwan, Jordan, Australia.

Group C: Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran.

Group D: Singapore, Yemen, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia.

Group E: Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Oman, Qatar.

Group F: Mongolia, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Japan.

Group  G: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, UAE.

Group H: Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Lebanon, Korea.