BANGKOK, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Masatada Ishii from Japan has replaced Brazilian-German Alexandre Polking as the new head coach of the Thai national football team, team manager Nualphan Lamsam announced on social media on Wednesday.
Although Thailand beat Singapore 3-1 on Tuesday in their second game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifying tournament second stage, standing second in Group C behind South Korea so far, the 2-1 home loss to China in their first game last week is still a pain to Thailand.
Nualphan said on her Facebook page: "We need to select a coach that is most familiar to the Thai national football team, so we picked Coach Ishii who is very experienced."
Ishii, 56, who had coaching spells in both Japanese J-League and Thai Premier League, led Buriram United to Thai Premier League titles in 2022 and 2023.
The appointment of Ishii was based on careful consideration, taking into account his familiarity with Thai players, extensive coaching experience, and notable achievements in the Thai league and international competitions, Nualphan added.
In the second stage of the Asian qualifying tournament, 36 teams have been divided into nine groups competing in a home-and-away round-robin format. The top two of each group will advance to the third stage.
Thailand has never made it to the finals of a World Cup. ■