Thailand 1-3 Kuwait: War Elephants crash in a home defeat to Al-Azraq

By Khalis Rifhan
khalis.rifhan@goal.com
@KhalisRifhan

Kuwait got off to a perfect start in their 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers as they saw off the challenge from the War Elephants of Thailand. 

Substitute Chanathip Songkrasin pulled a goal back for the host thirteen minutes before the end but it was a mere consolation for the team as they fell unconvincingly to the visitors.

Bader Al-Mutwa scored in the first half while Waleed Ali Hussein and Hamad Aman netted a goal each after the half-time break to give the Al-Azraq maximum points. 

Thailand started the game the brighter of the two sides as they went on the offensive early on, but were consistently met with a sturdy and disciplined Kuwaiti defence led by Waleed at the back.

The visitors finally got their break when Yousef Nasseral Al-Sulaiman spotted the run made by his attacking partner Al-Mutwa and the Kazma Sporting Club player played a precise through ball that sliced the host's defence. 

Al-Mutwa made no mistake with his effort as he sent it beyond the oncoming Kawin Thammasatchanan, and the ball was guided into the back of the net by defender Theeraton Bunmathan in an attempt to clear the ball.

The game was over for the hosts in the second half as the visitor added two goals in succession after the half time interval. 

The second goal was a giveaway by Thailand as their defence left Waleed with acres of space on a free kick, which thedefender easily headed the ball to the back of the net to make it 2-0 at  the hour mark.

Kuwait’s bench was in celebratory mode again seven minutes later as substitute Hamad Aman beat the offside trap to get to the end of a lob-pass from his teammate and slammed it home for their third goal of the match. 

Thailand earned their consolation goal midway through the second half as substitute Chanathip Songkrasin did well to beat his markers before pulling the trigger from about thirty meters away to cut the deficit in two.

In the other Group B match, Iran comfortably secured a 5-0 victory over fellow West Asians Lebanon at the Azadi stadium in Tehran courtesy of a brace from Reza Ghoochannejhad and a hat-trick from Javad Nekounam.

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