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Qatar 2022: No ticket for War Elephants after defeat by UAE

Thailand's Suphanat Mueanta, centre, in action against the UAE in Dubai.


Thailand’s road to the 2022 World Cup reached an end on Monday after the War Elephants lost 3-1 to the United Arab Emirates.

The result in Dubai means Thailand cannot finish in the top two of Group G of Asia’s second qualifying stage.

The eight group winners and four best runners-up advance to the continent’s third and final qualifying round for Qatar 2022.

Vietnam, who defeated Indonesia 4-0 on Monday, have 14 points, two ahead of the UAE.

Despite the War Elephants’ poor defending and lack of sharpness at the other end, Coach Akira Nishino praised his men for their efforts.

“In the first half, our team could not attack them but in the second half, we did quite well,” said the Japanese.

“I’d like to praise my players for giving their all.”

The home side raced to a 2-0 half-time lead with Caio Canedo opening the scoring after 14 minutes and Fabio Lima adding the other just after the half-hour mark.

Ten minutes into the second half, Suphanat Mueanta pulled a goal back for Thailand following a corner kick which was not dealt with sufficiently by the hosts.

Bert van Marwijk’s men finished off the visitors in injury time when substitute Mohammad Juma pounced on a beautifully weighted pass inside the area, firing into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.

Thailand will end their Group G campaign with a meaningless game against Malaysia on June 15.

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