Thailand came from a goal down to keep their hopes of advancing in the Women’s World Cup alive with a 3-2 win over Ivory Coast on Thursday.
Ivorian striker Ange Nguessan had given the African side the lead after four minutes but Thailand hit back with three unanswered goals.
A double from Orathai Srimanee after 26 and 45+3 minutes, and a Thanatta Chawong effort on 75 minutes saw the Asian side bounce back from a 4-0 loss to Norway in their Group B opener.
Josee Nahi got one back for the Ivory Coast two minutes from time, but the African side, reeling after a 10-0 hammering by two-time champions Germany at the weekend, missed a chance to equalise in extra time when Christine Lohoues hit wide (90+2).
Ivory Coast coach Clementine Toure admitted her 67th-ranked side had gained valuable experience on their first world cup experience.
“After the loss against Germany we gave everything tonight to come back in this competition,” she said.
“Sadly it wasn’t enough. It’s a sad night for us and for the people of Ivory Coast.
“We came here to win the World Cup and hope to be able to use what we learned from the experience.”
Nguessan had opened with the Ivory Coast’s first ever World Cup goal just minutes into the game with an acrobatic finish which lifted the team and their spirits.
But Thailand slowly began to find their feet, with Anootsara Maijarern playing into the path of the on-rushing Orathai who volleyed past Dominique Thiamale for Thailand’s first-ever goal in the tournament.
A minute into first-half stoppage time, Ines Nrehy missed a chance to give ‘Les Elephantes’ the lead but her effort hit the post.
And the Africans fell behind on the stroke of half-time, when an Orathai header rattled the underside of the crossbar, but goal-line technology confirmed it was a goal.
Substitute Thanatta sealed the three points following a defensive error from the Africans despite Nahi pulling one back.
Les Elephants hit the bar for a third time in the final minutes and Nguessan nearly equalised but Thailand held firm.
The Asian side can continue to hope of reaching the knockout round.
They have three points from two games, and are behind Germany and Norway who have four after playing out a 1-1 draw earlier.
In the final group game next Monday, Thailand take on the world’s top team Germany, while Ivory Coast play 1995 winners Norway. – Agence France-Presse