Thailand
2
World Cup Qualifiers
(Tue 15 Nov 2016, 07.00PM LOCAL)
FINAL
Venue: Rajamangala National Stadium
Attendance: 36534
Fox Sports
Australia
2

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FFA TV | Socceroos opponents: Thailand

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Ange on Thailand preparation

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Ange enjoying long Socceroos camp

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FFA TV | Ryan relishing Socceroos return

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FFA TV | Socceroos opponents: Thailand
FFA TV | Socceroos opponents: Thailand
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Ange on Thailand preparation
Ange on Thailand preparation
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Ange enjoying long Socceroos camp
Ange enjoying long Socceroos camp
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FFA TV | Ryan relishing Socceroos return
FFA TV | Ryan relishing Socceroos return

Preview: Thailand v Caltex Socceroos

On Tuesday night, the Caltex Socceroos end 2016 with a tricky test in Thailand on a vital night for World Cup qualification in Group B.

Crucial qualifiers to end 2016

November 15 looms as a pivotal night for Group B.

Going into their fifth game of ten in this final group phase of World Cup qualification, Australia, second in Group B on eight points, need a victory against the War Elephants to keep pressure on group leaders Saudi Arabia (10 points) and third placed Japan (seven points).

They meet in Saitama on the same night in a blockbuster.

With the top two sides automatically qualifying for the World Cup in 2018, plenty's riding on Tuesday night's results. 

Whatever the result in northern Tokyo, if Australia win they’ll be on 11 points, holding them in good stead for the final five qualifiers next year (of which three, handily, are on home soil).

If Australia and Japan win, Australia will end the year on top of the group by a point.

On the other hand, the Saudis could go five points clear at the top if they win in Japan and the Thais pull off a major upset.

Then there is UAE.

In fourth and at home to fifth-placed Iraq, a victory will keep Mahdi Ali’s men in the mix on nine points from five games.

Whatever happens, three points for the Socceroos and a good performance are the only outcomes Ange Postecoglou will want from his final game of 2016.

Preparations and tactical approach

Australia's preparations for this clash have been hampered by injuries to key names.

Tomi Juric, Massimo Luongo and back-up keeper Mitch Langerak are out. Tim Cahill was also rested for this camp. 

In are Hyundai A-League midfielder Luke Brattan from Melbourne City, striker Apo Giannou from the Chinese Super League and back up keeper, Swansea City's Mark Birighitti. 

That said the Socceroos assembled in Bangkok some eight days before this game.

Not only will this give the squad valuable preparation time for Thailand, it will also give Ange Postecoglou time for "next level" planning, which includes how to better break down sides that set up to frustrate and hit on the counter. 

It may come in handy against Thailand. 

Senamuang may've looked at the Japan game at Etihad and figured out sitting back in two banks of four, staying defensively solid and using the pace  and skill of a Chanathip Songkrasin on the counter could be the way to go.

Do they have enough concentration to do that for 90 + minutes? 

It’s a tough ask – especially for a nation with plenty of eye-catching tiki-taka talent in their ranks.

Caltex Socceroos opponent dossier: Thailand

And they tried that approach against Japan and lost 2-0. 

Perhaps it'll be a night for the Thais to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Three points would surely lift their fans and the nation. 

Thailand in mourning 

This qualifier is being played out amid the backdrop of a nation that has been in mourning for the King of Thailand.

There'll be plenty of emotion at the Rajamangala and a huge crowd is expected at the cavernous venue situated on the outskirts of Bangkok.

How this sentiment affects Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang’s players remains to be seen. 

Important Information for Australian Socceroos fans travelling to Thailand

Thailand Cabinet lifts restrictions for WCQ matchday

Fixture history

Bangkok has been a happy hunting ground for the Socceroos, with the green and gold winning their previous two games in the Thai capital. But these weren’t walkovers.

Australia only just defeated the Thais 1-0 in Bangkok five years ago, also in a World Cup qualifier.

While in Brisbane in the home leg of that group, Thailand took an early lead after a swift counter-attack before second half goals to the Socceroos won it 2-1.

Previously, in 2007 at the Asian Cup in Bangkok, Australia eased past the Thais 4-0 – though the result was in the balance till the 80th minute before the Aussies scored three times on the break in the last 10 minutes.

So, it’s never been an easy game against the Thais.

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FFA TV | Socceroos hit bump on road to Russia Play Video

FFA TV | Socceroos hit bump on road to Russia

Mat Ryan and Nathan Burns discuss the challenge that awaits the Caltex Socceroos in their bid to qualify for the next World Cup.

Post Match Videos

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FFA TV | Socceroos hit bump on road to Russia

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FFA TV | Plenty of take aways from Thai test

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Ryan frustrated by Thailand draw

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Socceroos held by Thailand

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FFA TV | Socceroos hit bump on road to Russia
FFA TV | Socceroos hit bump on road to Russia
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FFA TV | Plenty of take aways from Thai test
FFA TV | Plenty of take aways from Thai test
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Ryan frustrated by Thailand draw
Ryan frustrated by Thailand draw
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Socceroos held by Thailand
Socceroos held by Thailand

Caltex Socceroos draw after thriller in Bangkok

The Caltex Socceroos have spurned the chance to go top of the group after a thrilling 2-2 draw against an energetic Thailand on Tuesday night in Bangkok.

In a see-saw game that had the fans on their feet, Australia took an early lead before two goals to Teerasil Dangda had the War Elephants dreaming of a huge upset.

But a third penalty got the Aussies back into it the contest just after the hour mark.

On a spongy and bumpy surface, Australia dominated the first few minutes with a number of chances created.

It was not surprise when they opened up the Thais to take the lead on seven minutes.

Tom Rogic was put through wide and the Celtic star’s low shot was parried by the keeper to Jamie Maclaren.

His scuffed effort rebounded to Mat Leckie and his goal-bound shot was handled in the box by Pratum.

Jedinak coolly converted to open the scoring.

But the script was thrown out when in their first real goal threat the Thais equalised on 20 minutes. 

A brilliant through ball down Australia’s left caused problems and the ever-reliable Teerasil Dangda was first to the loose ball slotting home from an angle, much to the delight of the 40,000 plus fans at the Rajamangala.

Australia struggled to find any rhythm after the Thai goal, as the hosts grew in belief.

A stinging low shot parried away by Mat Ryan another reminder of Thailand’s confidence.

And Thailand began the second half in equally energetic and positive fashion, pushing the Aussies back with purpose.

Leckie, who won the penalty in the first half, gave away a foul in the box on 57 minutes and Dangda has his brace with a perfectly taken penalty.

The crowd was jumping as a boilover in Bangkok loomed. 

Jedinak’s header off a corner went very close as the Australians made a double substitution to find a way back with Mark Milligan and Nathan Burns coming on.

And ten minutes later they’d restored parity.

A push in the box was picked up by the referee and Jedinak’s penalty just evaded the Thai keeper to make it 2-2.

Burns, who had looked sharp, smashed a powerful shot against the top of the bar as the Australians pressed.

But the Socceroos could’ve easily gone 3-2 down in the final few minutes. 

A Mooy turnover was pounced on but Mat Ryan saved the day with a smart one-handed save in a one-one with Thailand’s Siroch.  

As the teams tired the game was stretched with the Thais looking most likely. 

But the visitors hung on and it ended 2-2 on a night when Thailand made a huge statement. 

With Japan winning their game with Saudi Arabia, the Blue Samurai now go equal top of Group B with the Saudis.