2018 World Cup Qualifying - AFC, Round Three
  • Prakit Deeprom (89')
  • Genki Haraguchi (17')
  • Takuma Asano (75')

Thailand lose to Japan in Bangkok in 2018 AFC World Cup qualifier

Thailand put on a brave performance in front of their home fans in Bangkok, but were outclassed 2-0 by Japan in the third round of 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying on Tuesday night.

The War Elephants conceded goals in both halves and then saw substitute Prakit Deeprom dismissed just before full-time after picking up a second yellow card.

Japan bounced back after being beaten 2-1 at home by United Arab Emirates last Thursday, producing a dominant display in Group B against the Southeast Asian champions.

Genki Haraguchi headed the visitors into a deserved first-half lead against a Thailand side, who had lost 1-0 away to Saudi Arabia in their opening match.

The Japanese made sure of the win when Thailand goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan was beaten for a second time by Takuma Asano, who seized on a defensive mistake, in the 75th minute.

Japan went close early when Keisuka Honda's header across goal was cleared off the line by Tanaboon Kesarat inside the opening 10 minutes.

A brilliant save from Thamsatchanan denied Asano soon after before Hertha BSC's Haraguchi headed Japan in front in the 18th minute.

Japan had many more chances before Thailand went close to grabbing a late equaliser. But former La Liga forward Teerasil Dangda shot straight at Shusaku Nishikawa after being put through by Chanathip Songkrasin.

Arsenal's Asano made sure of the victory soon afterwards to get Japan's third round campaign back on track, while condemning Thailand to the bottom of Group B.