Thailand's quest to reach the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time came to a virtual end when they lost 3-2 to Group 2 leaders Bahrain in an action-packed game that included four goals in the first half. The result, the Thais' third defeat in three games, all but ruled out their chances of achieving the top-two finish they need to progress.
Thailand came close to scoring first at Rajamangala Stadium, with Thonglao Datsakorn's long-range effort in the ninth minute skimming over the Bahrain bar. It was the Gulf side who opened the scoring when Isa Salman latched on to a cross and finished from close range in the 22nd minute.
Thailand equalised just three minutes later when Sarayoot Chaikamdee headed in a cross from Tawan Sripan. Bahrain pulled ahead again in the 34th minute with Faouzi Aaish smashing a low drive to the far post that Thai goalkeeper Sivaruk Tedsungnoen did well to parry wide, only for Ismaeel Hasan to tuck away the rebound.
Teeratep Winothai boosted Thailand's hopes on the stroke of half-time when he broke loose into the Bahrain half and fired a shot past the goalkeeper. But Bahrain pulled ahead for the third and final time 11 minutes after the restart when Sayed Husain's shot from outside of the box trickled through the Thai defence and left the goalkeeper with little chance.
Thailand pressed forward and had opportunities to square the match, but in the end it was a well-earned victory for Milan Macala's side.