After jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead, Côte d’Ivoire allowed three unanswered goals before scoring a late consolation as Thailand secured a historic 3-2 win, marking the first points the Asian side have recorded at a FIFA Women’s World Cup™.
Côte d’Ivoire started brightly, finding their way onto the scoresheet only four minutes into the match. After a scramble in the middle of Thailand’s penalty area and a couple of failed clearances, Ange Nguessan got the last touch with an acrobatic finish to find the back of the net for Côte d’Ivoire’s first-ever goal at the Women’s World Cup. Despite the early lead, Thailand slowly began to assert themselves into the match and their hard work paid off before too long.
Anootsara Maijarern played in a good ball into the path of the on-rushing Orathai Srimanee who did well to volley past Dominique Thiamale, good for Thailand’s first-ever goal in the competition. A minute into first-half stoppage time, Ines Nrehy had a wide-open goal to tap into to give Les Elephantes the lead, but she mishit her effort, which crashed off the post and away from danger.
Côte d’Ivoire would rue that missed opportunity as Thailand took the lead with a well-crafted goal on the stroke of half-time. An inch-perfect cross found Srimanee – who celebrates her 27th birthday tomorrow – unmarked in the middle of the area and her snapping header rattled off the underside of the crossbar, which goal-line technology confirmed was indeed a goal.
Thailand substitute Thanatta Chawong scored a scrappy goal after a defensive miscue between Thiamale and her backline to make the three points safe, despite Josee Nahi setting up a nervy finish after making it 3-2 with a brilliant solo run through the middle of the Thai defence and a calm finish past Waraporn Boonsing. Les Elephants hit the woodwork for a third time on the night in the final minutes and Nguessan nearly equalised on the last kick of the game but the scoreline stood firm in Thailand’s favour.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Orathai Srimanee (Thailand)