Thailand surprised many when they forced Australia to a 2-2 draw in the World Cup qualifiers.
The Asian Cup champions were expected to thrash their opposition considerably in a build-up to the match, and they started the game with that faith until things went south. Mile Jedinak scored an early goal from the penalty spot, sending a message. However, the opposition seemed not to agree with the message as Dangda equalized in the 20th minute.
The equalizer was a turning point for the hosts. Their confidence was boosted and they went ahead with a second goal after the break. Half time was tied 1-1 with Australia having a slight edge in ball possession. However, Thai resumed the second half strongly and one of their attacking style of football provoked the Aussies to cause a penalty. Dangda took the kick and converted it, sending the Australia goalie the wrong way.
Australia react by changing players and tactics. As they pressed, Jedinak is fouled and the referee points to the spot for the third time. Jedinak scores to equalize for the visitors in the 65th minute.
Ange Postecoglou’s reshuffle tried getting the match winner but the Thai players hold their ground. The resolute defence kept leaving the Australians to stray into the offside trap and the score does not change. Thailand have a lucky break in the 86th minute as the Australian defence grows weary. At the end, the score line remains unchanged .
For Postecoglou’s men, it was a below-par performance that saw Aaron Mooy play his worst in a Socceroo shirt. The draw sees Australia drop to third place as Japan defeat Saudi Arabia. The visitors would not be happy after the first two games in the qualifiers.