Thailand player ratings: Favourites leave it late to squeeze past Singapore

It was a second consecutive victory in Group A for Thailand but had it not been for Sarawut Masuk’s 89th-minute header, Kiatisuk ‘Zico’ Senamuang’s men could have been staring at defeat instead.

The War Elephants struggled to find any rhythm for most of the game as Singapore put nine men in defence to frustrate the defending champions.

Despite the win, Zico will do well to work on the Thai defence, which looked suspect each time Singapore surged forward.

Kawin Thamsatchanan (GK) – 7.5

Was made to work early on when Khairul Amri managed the first shot of the game, but what began as a quiet night started to become a nightmare for the giant stopper as his defence allowed Singapore plenty of chances towards the end.

Theerathon Bunmathan – 6

The Muangthong United wing-back was a shadow of his usual self down the left. Rumoured to be injured and it clearly showed as he played at a slower pace than normal. Came through with the cross that gave Thailand the win.

Tanaboon Kesarat – 5

Was almost outran by Amri on a long ball and took time to settle into a tradition 4-4-2 system having played as the sweeper in the previous two games against Australia and Indonesia. Thailand need him to be the defensive rock if they are to retain their title.

Chanathip was his usual influential self

Koravit Namwiset – 5

Came in to partner Tanaboon on the left side of a centre-back pairing. Never looked comfortable whenever Khairul Amri and the Lions pushed forward.

Tristan Do – 7.5

Tristan was one of Thailand’s most industrious players down the right as he gave Shakir Hamzah plenty of problems, cutting in on numerous occasions. Could have scored in the 55th minute when he was unmarked in the box only for his nerves to get the better of him.

Pokklaw A-Nan – 6.5

Still keeping Charyl Chappuis out of the starting line-up with his dynamism and tenacity alongside Sarach Yooyen. Did most of the dirty work to give his attackers the freedom to express themselves in the final third.

Sarach wasn't quite up to his typical standard

Sarach Yooyen – 6

Not his best game in a Thai shirt despite imposing himself in the middle of the park. Crosses were poor but his teammates were just as frustrated by Singapore’s refusal to come out of their defensive shell.

Rungrat Phumichantuk – 5.5

Plenty of endeavour but his decision-making was poor. His pace and trickery down the wing was obvious but Rungrat needs more experience at the international level to fulfill his enormous potential.

Chanathip Songkrasin – 8

There was never a doubt who was the best player on the pitch for either team. A pity his teammates failed to make the runs to maximise his clever flicks and passes.

Rungrat is still short on experience at this level

Siroch Chatthong – 7

Was through on goal in the opening 10 minutes, only to shoot straight at Hassan Sunny. A constant menace as an unconventional left-winger.

Teerasil Dangda – 6

Struggled to break free from Singapore’s rigid line of four. Could have scored his fourth goal of the tournament but put his header wide in the 40th minute after being left unmarked at the far post.

Substitutes

Sarawut Masuk (on for Siroch Chatthong 62’) – 6.5

Largely ineffective until he popped up with a pinpoint header to give the Thais maximum points.

Teerasil couldn't replicate his scoring heroics from the opening game

Adison Promrak (on for Rungrat Phumichantuk  71’) – 6.5

Pushed forward to help his team search for a late winner. Brought cover to the Thai backline that was threatening to implode.

Charyl Chappuis (on for Pokklaw A-Nan 86’) – N/A

Thailand’s golden boy came on and within minutes, Kiatisuk’s charges were ahead. Lucky charm perhaps?

Main photo: AFF Suzuki Cup