Azkals boss not taking chances as Thailand likely without strike stars in return leg
Adisak Kraisorn (left), who has scored six times in six appearances for Thailand, will be out of the second leg after being shown the red card in the Manila match. AP

THE Philippine men’s football tries to pounce on a Thailand side that could miss two prolific scorers in the return leg of their Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup semifinals in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang said starting forward Kirati Keawsombat could be “out” after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half of the Manila tie.

Super sub Adisak Kraisorn is set to miss their home game due to a suspension after picking up a straight red card for hitting Azkals defender Amani Aguinaldo in the scoreless draw.

“Good thing one forward is injured and the other can’t play,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said. “But on the other hand, they have so many good players who are sometimes better than the starter.”

“We know we’ll play against eleven,” the German-American mentor added. “They’ll try everything to beat us at their home, so we just have to be ready.”

[See Scoring draw enough, but Palami says Azkals going for goal in Bangkok return leg]

The Azkals, who arrived in the Thai capital on Monday, need at least a scoring draw to advance to the finals for the first time.

The 23-year-old Adisak scored a brace in the 3-2 win against Malaysia in the group stage. He basically averages one goal per match for Thailand, having scored six times in six appearances for the senior team since last year.

Kirati, on the other hand, has registered six goals in 25 appearances for the senior team since 2009.

“It’s a big loss,” Thai midfielder Charyl Chappuis said. “They’re two amazing strikers who help us a lot. But in the end, we know that this can happen and we are prepared for this.”

Besides, the Thais managed to hold even with a man down in their away match.

“It was okay as our players learned how to play with only ten men,” Kiatisuk said.

“One hundred percent we go to the next round,” Chappuis added.

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