World Cup Qualifiers R3
Rajamangala National Stadium

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.

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World Cup Qualifiers for 2018
Group A
# Club P W D L PTS
Iran 10 6 4 0 22
Korea Republic 10 4 3 3 15
Syria 10 3 4 3 13
Uzbekistan 10 4 1 5 13
China PR 10 3 3 4 12
Qatar 10 2 1 7 7
# Club P W D L PTS
Japan 10 6 2 2 20
Saudi Arabia 10 6 1 3 19
Australia 10 5 4 1 19
United Arab Emirates 10 4 1 5 13
Iraq 10 3 2 5 11
Thailand 10 0 2 8 2
Group A
# Club P W D L PTS
Portugal 3 2 1 0 7
Mexico 3 2 1 0 7
Russia 3 1 0 2 3
New Zealand 3 0 0 3 0
# Club P W D L PTS
Germany 3 2 1 0 7
Chile 3 1 2 0 5
Australia 3 0 2 1 2
Cameroon 3 0 1 2 1