Thailand have been beaten in the final of the China Cup by consecutive winners Uruguay at the Guangxi Sports Center. The game was largely controlled by Uruguay, who used their superior physicality and football knowhow to thrash Thailand 4-0.
Uruguay struck early in the sixth minute from a corner. Nicolás Lodeiro swung in the set-piece which was met by Inter Milan midfielder Matías Vecino to head in at the near post. Questions will be raised about the Thai defending as Adisak Kraisorn who was marking Vecino, allowed him to get of a relatively unchallenged header. Further questions will be asked of keeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen who failed to cover the front post which lead to the goal.
Uruguay grew further into the game and doubled their lead in the 38th minute from a tap in from Gastón Pereiro. As Cristhian Stuani received the ball in the box from Nicolás Lodeiro, he was able to use his strength to brush past Tristan Do rather easily before laying the ball across the box for Pereiro.
The second half continued in the same manner as the first as Thailand continued to show their vulnerabilities from set-peices. This time it was Giorgian De Arrascaeta who swung in a corner at the near post for Cristhian Stuani to head home. The Girona striker had somehow managed to get himself in-between Adisak Kraisorn and Suphan Thongsong for the goal highlighting additional defensive deficiencies for the Thai national team.
Uruguay left it late to score their fourth and final goal. In the 88th minute Maxi Gómez scored from a deflected shot in a rather fortunate circumstance. Adisorn Promrak’s interception landed at the feet of Maxi Gómez on the edge of the box. As the striker shot it hit Suphan Thongsong’s diving legs which altered the direction of the ball causing it to head to the opposite corner. Keeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen had already committed to his dive which allowed the ball to trickle over the line.
Overall it was a disappointing result for Thailand as it showed the gulf in class between the two sides. Thailand were dominated in the air, particularly from set-pieces while offering very little going forward. Caretaker manager Sirisak Yodyardthai will have to seriously look at how his team set up whilst defending concerns. This in particular relates to Adisak Kraisorn whose lackadaisical defending gifted Uruguay two goals. In future games it might be worth looking at a more physical presence at the back with currently injured defender Mika Chunuonsee waiting in the wings.
On a positive note this game is a useful measuring stick on the progression of this talented group of players. The Thai national team have been in their relative comfort zone playing teams from Asian and to a greater extent the ASEAN region who have a similar football style and tactical setup. Playing a competitive game against Uruguay allows the players to get much needed experience against a world class team from a different part of the world.
Image From Seattle Sounders FC