Thailand’s thin World Cup hopes earned a boost at the expense of whatever knockout round pipe dreams lived in Ivory Coast.
Orathai Srimanee scored a pair of first-half goals and Thanatta Chawong added an insurance goal in a 3-2 win on Thursday in Ottawa, a match that finished a wild ending thanks to the Ivory Coast’s gumption.
Ange Nguessan gave Ivory Coast a fourth minute lead, but the AFCON side’s defense betrayed it thrice before Nahi Josee added a goal in 88th minute to complete the scoring. That gave the Ivory Coast a late boost, and a late struck crossbar teased its fans.
Thailand did not earn many fans with a bout of late play-acting to help save its win.
The Ivory Coast’s defeat, coupled with the 10-0 loss to Germany to open the tournament, likely ends its long shot hopes of the knockout rounds.
Thailand’s goal differential is six points behind Norway, which has four points. Given remaining opposition — Thailand has Germany and Norway will face Ivory Coast — Thailand will need to hope that it can somehow snare a point against Germany or keep it close enough to be among the four best third-place teams after group play.