Thailand manager Kiatisuk Senamuang was relieved on Saturday following his team’s 4-2 win in over Indonesia in the opening match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016.
The War Elephants raced to a 2-0 lead at half-time thanks to goals from Peerapat Notechaiya and captain Teerasil Dangda, whose two goals late in the match were needed to pull away after Indonesia responded early in the first half to tie the match up at 2-2.
“Indonesia played very well, even though they have not played any (competitive) international football for two years,” Kiatisuk, known affectionately by Thai supporters as Zico, said after the match. “When we were leading 2-0, we lost concentration and conceded two headers, but I’m happy that we could get our momentum back and win this match.
“It’s good for us to start this tournament with a victory, but we have two matches against Singapore and the Philippines ahead of us. We want to keep winning, but we have to deal with our mistakes,” he added.
Meanwhile, Indonesia head coach Alfred Riedl admitted that his side were outplayed in the rain at Philippines Sports Stadium.
“We are happy with the performance but I believe Thailand deserved the win although they had a goal too many,” said the Austrian manager, who is in his third stint in charge of the Garuda. “We created some chances and scored two goals, and with a little luck, we could have drawn.”
Riedl also defended his decision to start Kurnia Hermansyah in goal.
“We have two good goalkeepers but Kurnia is taller, and for the high balls and long crosses a taller goalkeeper is better in this kind of game,” he elaborated.