Thailand national team manager Kiatisuk Senamuang was full of praise for his players following an important 2-0 victory over Myanmar in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 semi-final in Yangon.
A brace from captain Teerasil Dangda at Thuwanna Stadium helped the War Elephants put one foot in the final as they prepare for the deciding return leg on Thursday night in Bangkok.
But the coach known to local fans as Zico was not ready to dismiss Myanmar, who he believes are still capable of a come-from-behind upset.
“Our target has been to qualify for the final and win the championship,” Kiatisuk said after the match. “We had a lot of chances and we scored, but the series isn’t finished.
“Maybe Myanmar were under pressure playing at home, but I think they could be better in the next match.”
Meanwhile, defeated coach Gerd Zeise admitted that his players were outperformed by a superior Thailand team at home.
“Thailand were a better team”, the German coach said. “We did have some good chances but we failed to score, and we made some mistakes which led to their goals.
“A 2-0 defeat at home will not make it easy for us [to qualify for the final]. But we still have a chance, and we will try to play better.”
The sold-out second leg will take place at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, one day after Vietnam host Indonesia in the second leg of the other semifinal series.