BANGKOK, July 12 (Reuters) - Striker Pipat Tongkanya scored twice in eight minutes to lift hosts Thailand to a convincing 2-0 win over Oman and top spot in Asian Cup Group A on Thursday.
Pipat combined with fellow substitute Teerathep Winothai in
the 70th and 78th minutes to give the Thais a well-earned
The goals came after 69 minutes of relentless Thai
attacking, with the Omanis, who drew 1-1 with tournament
favourites Australia on Sunday, rarely looking dangerous.
The victory was the Kingdom's first in the Asian Cup since
they made their debut in 1972.
'This match has helped us regain our confidence, we have
never won a game in the Asian Cup, I'm very proud to be the
first coach to do that,' coach Charnwit Polcheewin told a news
'Pipat and Teerathep both did a good job, but whether or
not they will start in the next game depends on the tactics,
and I won't give those away.'
Thailand had the best of the early action and came close on
19 minutes when Sutee Suksomkit's pass flashed across the face
of the goal and fell short of the onrushing Kiatisak
They threatened again six minutes later when playmaker
Datsakorn Thonglao's lofted pass found Therdsak Chaiman, who
Therdsak found himself in space again close to halftime,
latching on to Nattaporn Phanrit's pass down the right and
blasting the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.
Oman collected four bookings and few chances but could have
gone ahead near the interval when Fawzi Bashir rounded
Nattaporn before shooting well wide.
The Thais wasted a golden opportunity to score right after
halftime when Kiatisak squared the ball to the unmarked Tawan
Sripan, who fired wide with men in space.
The crowd had their hearts in the mouths when Ahmad Halid's
speculative free kick from near the halfway line went through
to keeper Kosin Haithairrattanakool, who tipped the ball on to
Pipat and Teerathep made an instant impact after being sent
Within a minute Teerathep delivered a low cross from the
right to the unmarked Pipat, who fired home from five metres.
Eight minutes later, the diminutive Teerathep headed
Tawan's pass on to Pipat, who chested down and blasted the ball
into the top corner.
Oman coach Gabriel Calderon was unhappy with the yellow
cards his team picked up.
'The referee was hostile to Oman,' the Argentine said. 'The
referee made mistakes, but maybe the Omanis just didn't play
The win put Thailand on four points, three ahead of Iraq
and Australia who meet on Friday in the next Group A game.