Robson wins battle of former team-mates
© AFP

Bryan Robson gave former England team-mate Graham Roberts a harsh introduction to life as Pakistan coach with his Thailand team handing out a 6-0 thumping at the Asian Games today.

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea defender was in charge for the first time since being appointed temporary Pakistan coach, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Thonglao Datsakorn and Teerasul Dangda both bagged braces in the U-23s match, while Anawin Jujeen and Kirati Keawsombut also got on the scoresheet as the Thais got their gold medal quest off to an emphatic start.

The action kicked off the world's second-largest sporting event after the Olympics, five days ahead of the Games' official start on 12 November. 24 teams are taking part in the U-23s tournament, with the top two and four of the best third-placed sides from the six groups advancing to the round of 16.

It wasn't so emphatic from defending champions Qatar, who opened their account with a 0-0 draw against Singapore. Former Senegal and UAE coach Bruno Metsu is at the Qatari helm and is expected to match their achievement from four years ago in Doha, with today's result not expected to go down well at home.

The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw by Hong Kong. But Kuwait, Oman and Uzbekistan got their tournament off to winning starts with comfortable opening victories.

Kuwait, recently crowned champions of the West Asian football tournament in Jordan, proved too good for India in Group D, winning 2-0 with an early strike from Mohammad Alrashedi setting them on their way. Alazemi Khaled ensured the three points with a fine finish in the 53rd minute.

Uzbekistan cruised past Bangladesh 3-0 in Group E, with first-half goals from Kenja Turaev and Odil Ahmedov putting them firmly in charge before Ivan Nagaev added a late third.

In Group F, which also features Thailand, Oman beat the Maldives 3-0, but they made a meal of it, with two late goals giving the scoreline respectability against the island minnows. Al Moatasim Al-Mukhaini gave the Gulf side the lead on 21 minutes but they failed to capitalise until Abdallah Ai Saadi Waleed made it 2-0 with just two minutes left and Abdulla Saleh Abdul Hadi added a third in injury time.