Bangkok: Thailand captain Kritsada Wongkaeo appears to be a key determine every time his nation is reaching new futsal milestones. 9 years again, he figured prominently scoring twice for the hosts on the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand™ the place his aspect stormed into the Spherical of 16 for the primary time.
4 years later, the dynamic winger was on hearth racking up one other 4 targets at Colombia 2016 as Thailand once more progressed to the second spherical, this time for the primary time on international soil.
And if his previous World Cup type is something to go by, plainly Wongkaeo seems set to interrupt extra new floor at Lithuania 2021 this September.
“My expectations for the upcoming Futsal World Cup are to assist Thailand to the quarter-finals,” the 33-year-old instructed FIFA.com. “And I consider it is usually what our workforce expect.
“The opponents shall be powerful on the worldwide stage however with our expertise [from the past World Cups] and with our youth abilities, I feel we now have an actual likelihood of creating it to the final eight.”
Pitted towards European powerhouse Portugal, Morocco and Solomon Islands in Group C, he’s properly conscious that their marketing campaign shall be difficult.
“We’re in a tricky group, in fact,” commented Wongkaeo, who’s Thailand’s third all-time worldwide scorer with 95 targets from 76 caps throughout a 12-year worldwide profession.
“Portugal are a stronger workforce and Morocco are additionally aspect. And even Solomon Islands are a workforce which we will not afford to underestimate as they’ve gamers with nice strategies.
“Our opening recreation towards Portugal shall be very powerful. Nonetheless, the subsequent two matches towards Morocco and Solomon Islands would be the video games the place we are able to actually compete. We have to take factors towards each groups if we’re to qualify for the subsequent spherical.”
One in all Asia’s futsal powerhouses, Thailand started their love story with the Futsal World Cup over twenty years in the past once they sealed maiden qualification for Guatemala 2000. They went on to qualify for the subsequent two editions at Chinese language Taipei 2004 and Brazil 2008, however a significant breakthrough did not come till their heroics at Thailand 2012.
Then Wongkaeo and Co. pulled off a 3-1 victory towards Costa Rica within the opener and, regardless of shedding to Ukraine (5-3) and Paraguay (3-2), they progressed courtesy of their scoring-tally. On the ensuing knockout stage Thailand fell quick towards Spain shedding 6-1 with Wongkaeo netting their solely purpose.
“Throughout that marketing campaign, our workforce did not have a lot expertise on the world degree,” he mentioned. “Taking part in in entrance of our supporters, we had been capable of showcase our potential.”
4 years on, a much-improved Thailand took their group by storm at Colombia 2016, defeating first Cuba (8-5) after which Egypt (2-1) and solely misplaced to eventual finalists Russia (6-4) to achieve the second spherical. Wongkaeo opened his account towards Cuba, earlier than hanging a hat-trick towards Azerbaijan solely to see his aspect lose 13-8 in an extra-time thriller.
“In Colombia we produced a collection of fine performances and even towards Azerbaijan, I felt we performed recreation. It was disappointing however the expertise is nice for the workforce.
“The nationwide workforce’s success over latest years has made a big impact on the native competitors. Futsal has gained rising recognition in Thailand with the Thai Futsal League attracting rising consideration. Consequently, a brand new era of gamers have emerged and can characterize our nation sooner or later.”
Having gained almost every thing at membership degree with Chonburi Bluewave, together with 9 Thai league titles and two continental crowns on the AFC Futsal Membership Championship, Wongkaeo has naturally switched his give attention to scaling new heights at worldwide degree. And he simply achieved his preliminary purpose, scoring 4 instances as Thailand defeated Iraq 11-2 within the Asian qualifying playoff to seal their sixth Futsal World Cup look.
“As I mentioned, my present purpose is to take Thailand to the Futsal World Cup quarter-finals. In fact, going all the best way to the ultimate and profitable it is usually what I would love obtain, however it’s actually troublesome and I must be sensible.”
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