Coach Milovan Rajevac is looking forward to a bright future for Thailand despite his men’s 2-0 friendly loss to Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Tuesday night.It was the Serb’s first game in charge of the War Eleph ants who were without nine SCG Muang Thong players including forward Teerasil Dangda and playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin.Temurkhuja Abdukholikov’s strike after 67 minutes and Sardor Rashidov’s stunning curling shot in injury-time handed Rajevac a losing start as coach of Thailand.
Rajevac said after the match that Thailand need to improve their finishing ahead of their next game against the United Arab Emirates in a World Cup qualifier in Bangkok on June 13.Several newcomers were in Rajevac’s starting line-up including Phansa Hemviboon, Kevin Deeromram and Chalermpong Kerdkaew. Without Teerasil, the country’s top striker, Rajevac used Sirod Chatthong aslone striker and the tall forward squandered a couple of good chances.
After the match, Rajevac said: “We played very well in the first half and had several chances but could not score. We should not have conceded the first goal but we could not do anything with the second which was beautifull goal.”It is not good that we lost but we have got experience that will make us stronger in the future. We will build a team for the future to be able to compete at major competitions like the World Cup and Asian Cup. We will build a team that can compete against Asia’s top teams. We have to learn from our mistakes in this game.”
Rajevac said Muang Thong players, who were rested for Tuesday’s match, will return for the UAE game.
Uzbekistan coach Samvel Babayan said: “Thailand defended well and the result might have been different if they had not made mistakes. They have improved a lot.” Football Association of Thailand president Somyot Poompunmuang said he was pleased with the team’s performance.”I watched the game on TV and several people told me that they were pleased with our performance. Under Rajevac, we have a new playing system and tactics,” he said. “If the players had had more time to prepare, I think we might have got a draw. If we had been sharper up front, we might have won the match.”