Courtesy: The AFC.comJenjira: Instant goal took the pressure offMonday, May 7, 2018
Bangkok: With Thailand needing a draw or better against Hong Kong to advance to the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018 Knockout Stage, Jenjira Bubpha got the hosts up and running with a goal in less than ten seconds.
Jenjira followed up the goal with an assist for Mutita Senkram seconds later to make it 2-0 with little over a minute played and Thailand never looked back, romping to an 8-0 win to set up a quarter-final meeting with Chinese Taipei on Wednesday.
After Thailand had struggled to find a way to goal against Indonesia in their 1-1 draw on Matchday Two, the 22-year-old said taking such an early lead was a weight off her team’s shoulders.
“Scoring so early was really important,” she said.
“It helped us to stabilise and we didn’t feel under pressure for the rest of the game. That helped us to follow our tactics for the rest of the game.”
The Bangkok local has been part of Thailand’s starting quartet – also featuring Mutita, Hataichanok Tappakun and tournament top-scorer Sasicha Phothiwong – in all three matches so far, and the group was pivotal against Hong Kong, providing the first six goals of the match.
Jenjira said the relative frustration of the Indonesia clash on Matchday Two had been a valuable learning experience.
“Our (four-player) group played a lot better than in the Indonesia game,” she declared.
“We learned from the previous game and we were able to co-operate a lot more. The coach changed some tactics for us, which helped us (against Hong Kong).
While tougher challenges surely await them in the knockout stage, Jenjira – who scored an international hat-trick on the football pitch at the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in 2015 – said it’s a case of ‘so far, so good’ for Thailand.
“I’m satisfied with both the matches and my own performance so far. The team is creating more chances and we have been able to score a lot goals,” she said.
The hosts will face Chinese Taipei at the Huamark Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, with the winner to advance to the semi-finals the following night.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari