Thailand defender not satisfied with 2-0 win against Kyrgyzstan in Asian Cup opener

By Lam Thoa   January 16, 2024 | 08:15 pm PT
Thailand defender not satisfied with 2-0 win against Kyrgyzstan in Asian Cup opener
Mickelson (R) goes for the ball in Thailand's 2-0 win over Kyrgyzstan at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha, Qatar on Jan. 16. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Defender Nicholas Mickelson said if Thailand made the most out of their chances, the team would have had a bigger victory against Kyrgyzstan in Asian Cup group stage.

Supachai Chaided scored a brace and helped Thailand defeat Kyrgyzstan 2-0 at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium Tuesday night. Thailand became the only Southeast Asian team to win in the first round of this year's Asian Cup, after Vietnam lost 2-4 to Japan, Indonesia stumbled 1-3 to Iraq, and Malaysia were thrashed 0-4 by Jordan.

Thailand also topped group F, having three points like Saudi Arabia but with a better goal difference. The door to the next round is opening wide for them.

However, defender Mickelson is not really satisfied with Tuesday result. He said after the match: "Thailand played well and deserved three points. But we should have scored more goals. The team created many chances in this match."

Thailand had 45% possession with 12 shots, including four on target.

Asian Cup group stage: Thailand 2-0 Kyrgyzstan

Mickelson, 24, was born in Norway. He played for Norway's youth teams from U16 to U23 before switching to Thailand, his mother's homeland, in 2022.

"Thailand is my homeland. I'm happy and honored to serve my country. I always try to show my best on the field. I'm proud to play for Thailand," Mickelson said.

Thailand coach Masatada Ishii seemed pleased with the victory over Kyrgyzstan.

"The opening match is always difficult. Thailand got three points and I feel great. The players understood each other, followed the right tactics and claimed good results."

Ishii, a Japanese coach, was appointed as Thailand national football team in November last year coach after Mano Polking left.

Many Japanese reporters came to watch the match between Thailand and Kyrgyzstan. After the match, they asked if Ishii thought Thailand could beat Japan. The 56-year-old responded: "Japan are very strong and if we meet, we will try our best. Thailand will show everyone why we are qualified for the Asian Cup."

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