Hosts Thailand claimed the bronze medal in the 2022 King’s Cup in Thailand, edging Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 in an entertaining contest at 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai.
The hosts went ahead in the 21st minute through debutant Channarong Promsrikaew after overwhelming Trinidad and Tobago in the first quarter of the match.
T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip made a dreadful error, clearing a backpass straight to Promsrikaew after failing to control the ball with his left foot under pressure.
The debutant swept a left-footed drive into the unguarded net to hand Thailand a 1-0 lead.
Levi Garcia and Reon Moore then combined to carve out two chances for Trinidad and Tobago shortly after.
Moore headed a cutback from Garcia over the bar from just outside the six-yard box and later headed the second chance goalward only for goalkeeper Kittpong Phoothawchuek to save with his chest.
Thailand created two more excellent chances for Chalermsak Aukkee and Supachok Sarachart without adding to the 1-0 scoreline before the half.
At the half, head coach Angus Eve brought on midfielders Kevin Molino, Ajani Fortune, and defender Jesse Williams, a move that paid dividends almost immediately.
With renewed belief and drive in the midfield, Molino fired goalward in the 60th minute only to see Phoothawchuek palm the ball out for the corner.
From the corner, Molino delivered the ball to the near post for Kareem Moses to glance the ball goalward.
The ball hit the head of defender Kritsada Kaman and went into the net to bring T&T back to parity at 1-1.
Despite further pressure from the Trinidad and Tobago forwards, Thailand would hit back from a break down the right.
Three passes from right to left brought the ball to Sarachart on the left side of the area.
With one deft flick of his right foot, he cut back inside beating Williams and fired the ball past Phillip to give Thailand a 2-1 lead.
Trinidad and Tobago gamely fought back, with Molino forcing a fine save from Phoothawchuek late in the second half.
Despite significant late pressure, Thailand held on to their 2-1 lead and took the bronze medal in the King’s Cup in front of more than 10,000 cheering fans.
Trinidad and Tobago will return home empty-handed and will commence preparation for their final two Concacaf Nations League matches on 24 March (Bahamas) and 27 March (Nicaragua).
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