HEFEI, China – Thailand’s caretaker coach Kiatisuk Senamuang had a dream debut in his new role with the national team as he led his team to a remarkable 5-1 victory over Asian powerhouse China on Saturday at the Olympic Sports Center in Heifei.
It was the War Elephants’ first victory of the year and China’s third consecutive friendly loss in June, which came in the capital and largest city of Anhui Province in Eastern China.
China had earlier went down 2-1 to Uzbekistan on June 6 before the Netherlands secured a 2-0 victory over Antonio Camacho’s side five days later.
Kiatisuk had selected a squad that was largely made up of Under-23 players with two overage players, namely goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool and Adul Lahso, both from Thai Premier League club Chonburi FC, and Pairote Sokam from Suphanbari FC.
Sinthaweechai wore the captain’s armband and was commanding at the back, marshaling his defence from his 16-yard area.
The match opener came in the 16th minute when after the hosts failed to clear their line and 22-year-old Pokkhao Anan whacked a stunning curler from 25 yards that landed in the top corner.
The Thais doubled their lead seven minutes later as Buriram United striker Adisak Kraisorn got to the end of his teammate’s cut-back in the penalty box and easily tapped the ball home.
The deficit was reduced midway through the first half after China was awarded a penalty and Shandong Luneng midfielder Wang Yongpo made no mistake from the spot in the 33rd minute.
Adisak got his name on the scoresheet again six minutes after half-time after he sidestepped two China defenders in the penalty box before sending a low shot to the back of the net for Thailand’s third goal of the night.
Thailand took advantage of a sloppy pass in the midfield by China as the visitors regained possession and Chanathip Songkrasin unleashed an unstoppable piledriver from 30 yards for his side’s fourth goal of the match.
The War Elephants struck again three minutes before the end of regulation time through Muangthong United midfielder Sarawut Masuk to cap off a miserable night for Camacho’s charges.