Southeast Asia Thailand

Thailand, Iraq, Gear Up for 2023 King’s Cup Final

Thailand head coach, Alexandre Polking, is optimistic about the Changsuek‘s chances in this year’s King’s Cup final against Iraq at Chiangmai’s 700th Anniversary Stadium.

The Changsuek were aiming to clinch the prestigious title after a six-year hiatus, last winning in 2017. Their recent victory over Lebanon, secured by Teerasil Dangda’s 86th-minute header, propelled them into the final. Meanwhile, Iraq advanced by beating India 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.

Polking expressed some concern about the limited time available to prepare for the final match against Iraq. He mentioned, “We haven’t had enough time to get ready for the match with Iraq.” Despite this, he assured that they have meticulously studied both their own performance and that of their opponents to devise a strategic approach. He emphasized their determination to claim the trophy.

Addressing inquiries about his future, Polking stated, “I am not worried about my future. I am only focused on the final match with Iraq.”

Iraq head coach, Jesus Garcia, declined to attribute any challenges to their preparation time, asserting that both Thailand and Iraq had an equal number of days to rest before the final. He dismissed factors like weather and pitch conditions, emphasizing that all teams in the tournament face the same circumstances. Garcia emphasized their intention to field their top-performing players to provide an impressive display for Thai football enthusiasts, expressing their complete concentration on the forthcoming match against Thailand.

Thailand winger, Supachok Sarachat, expressed contentment with his role in the team, noting that the coach has assigned him a position similar to the one he plays in his club, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.

In the third-place playoff, India will face off against Lebanon on Sunday afternoon.