Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda could become the AFF Suzuki Cup’s highest scorer of all time when the War Elephants meet Timor Leste in their first match of the 2021 edition in Singapore on Sunday.
The 31-year-old is two goals behind former Singapore forward Noh Alam Shah’s 17-goal tally but the BG Pathum United striker said on Thursday he is not thinking about the record.
“I am a striker and will try to score every time I get a chance on the pitch,” he said.
“Our job is to help the team win every game. If I can break the record, that is good. But I am not focusing on it.”
The Thais began training on Monday and Teerasil said everybody will be ready for the first game.
“Our target is to win the title,” he said.
Five-time Suzuki Cup winners Thailand will also meet Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines in Group A.
Defending champions Vietnam are in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
The top two teams in each group reach the semi-finals. The final is scheduled for Jan 1.
Meanwhile, three foreign-based players have joined the Thai squad in Singapore.
The trio are defender Jonathan Khemdee of Denmark’s OB Odense, midfielder Thanawat Suengchitthawon of English Premier League club Leicester City, and goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan of Belgium’s OH Leuven.
Japan-based playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan will join the team after Thailand’s first game and the final round of matches of the J-League season this weekend.
Thailand coach Mano Polking said he is not going to use social media until the end of the tournament.
“Bye, bye social media!! It was a pleasure to waste my time with you now and then. Hope to see you in January again with now 100% focus and a lot of work in front of us,” he wrote in a social media post.
Ishii joins Buriram
Japanese coach Masatada Ishii has joined Buriram United, the Thai League 1 leaders said yesterday.
Ishii, who quit Thai League 1 side Samut Prakan recently, replaces Alexandre Gama who took the Thunder Castle to the top of the table at halfway of the season last weekend.
The league is taking a break and will resume next month.
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