Two-time defending champions Thailand fueled their 46th King’s Cup campaign against Gabon on Thursday night.
2018 King’s Cup kicked off with four teams taking part Gabon, Slovakia, UAE and hosts Thailand.
The local supporters, who were looking forward to watching the stars in this year’s friendly tournament, must be slightly disappointed after star players of all three visiting teams pulled out for one reason or another.
While Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not join the Gabon squad due to the sudden passing of his grandmother, Slovakia and the United Arab Emirates have to make it without the likes of Marek Hamsik, Omar Abdulrahman and Ali Mabkhout.
In the opening match at the Rajamangala Stadium on Thursday, Thailand beat Gabon 4-2 in the penalty shootout following the goalless draw in the regular time.
Despite their efforts, none of the sides was able to make a successful attempt at scoring.
In the penalty shootout, goalkeeper Kawin Thamasatchanan was the hero as he denied the first two kicks from the Gabonese and secured a spot at the final for the Milovan Rajevac’s side.
The War Elephants will square off Slovakia, who earned a 2-1 win over the UAE on Thursday game, in the final showdown at the Rajamangala National Stadium on Sunday.