There may have been no qualification issues at stake but Thailand scored an historic first ever win in any FIFA finals tournament by beating Australia 3-2 in the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004.

Thai coach Glaucio Castro was understandably euphoric afterwards: "We missed a lot of chances but we deserved to win the game. The future starts here - today. With even better organisation we can improve Thailand football and have a bright future."

If Thailand were looking for their first ever win, the Indooroos were after their first World Championship victory since their thrilling 8-6 win over Costa Rica in Hong Kong 92.

Thailand began the match on top, showing greater technique than Australia and camping in their opponent's half. It was 20 minutes of few chances though and while Gilligan's men got control of the game by the end of the half neither keeper had much to do.

The first real chance was Australia's: Lertchai Issarasuwipakorn received a yellow card and conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Veteran Elliot Zwangobani back-heeled to Adrian Vizzari whose fierce drive struck the post with Somkid Chuenta beaten.

Manjarern sets Thais on their way
The deadlock was broken three minutes into the second half and Brazilian-born coach Glaucio Castro must have been pleased with the stylish strike - Joe Nueangkord skipped past Aussie skipper Brett Hewitt and squared at speed to an un-marked Anucha Manjarern to slide home.

Australia, one of only five nations to qualify for every Futsal World Championship, hit back before the large Thai contingent had retaken their seats - a rocket from Adrian Vizzari beating Chuenta from wide on the left.

Having got back in the match the Australians did their best to throw it away. Twice they allowed Issarasuwipakorn to nick the ball from their last man and run half the pitch. Foiled by the keeper first, then Hewitt cleared off the line. To Castro's consternation Sermphan Khumthinkaew then wasted another clear-cut opening.

It was time for the captain to step up to the plate - Pattaya Piemkum ramming home after O'Brien had made sprawling saves to deny Munjarern. With both sides on five fouls the last few minutes came alive. Chasing the game Damian Pilat stretched to score but was late on the keeper. He forced the ball home, but a foul was given, he was yellow carded and to compound his misery Yutthana Polsak scored the 10m kick.

Still the Aussies weren't finished, a fine move involving Pilat and Wright saw Singleton reduce the arrears to a single goal. In a frantic finale Australia couldn't force the equaliser - in fact it was the voluable Castro's side who wasted the best chance as Punpoem missed from 10m.

"We made too many mistakes and gave the ball away far too many times," said a disappointed Gilligan. "It's hard for us as all our players work and we need to play more matches at this sort of level. I thought we competed in all three games and could have got something out of the Czech Republic match. I'd like to continue in the job - there are a lot of young players with potential here."