Thailand's Akira Nishino keeps cool head despite defeat to Malaysia

goal.com, 14 November 2019, 13:53
Thailand boss Akira Nishino is adamant that their World Cup qualification chances are still in their own hands, despite their defeat to Malaysia.

BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter

Although their 2-1 defeat away to Malaysia in Group G of World Cup qualifiers caused them to slip to second place in the standings, Thailand head coach Akira Nishino is adamant that their qualification chances are still in their own hands.

J1 League star Chanathip Songkrasin opened the scoring for the visitors at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium as early as the seventh minute, but the favourites would end up being overwhelmed by Harimau Malaya, through goals by Brendan Gan (26') and Mohamadou Sumareh (57').

Malaysia v Thailand match highlights

Speaking in the post-match press conference, the former World Cup head coach admitted that his charges did not show determination in the match, and was affected by the quality of the pitch. Rain poured down in Kuala Lumpur some three hours before kick-off time.

"My players were not determined enough to get the equaliser, and that was why we lost. Almost all of our departments did not play well.

"The grass type [of the pitch] might have played a small role, especially when Malaysia players are more familiar with it, but that's not the point (cause). My team lacked composure," said the Japanese.

But when asked about the fact that they had been pipped to the top spot by Southeast Asian rivals Vietnam due to the defeat, Nishino declined to comment on it.

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Kedudukan terkini.. Latest standings.. #HarimauMalaya #Malaysia #Thailand #WCQ2022 #ACQ2023 #MASTHA

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"We knew since the day of the draw that it was going to be a very difficult group, so for now we'll be focusing on recovery and on doing well in the next match.

"Right now we need to focus on ourselves because we still have matches to play, and we need to improve," explained the former Japan boss.

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