Written by Johnny Salinas
The Thailand women’s national team will be entering the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history and are looking to leave it as world champions. Thailand will be one of five teams entering the women’s world cup from the AFC, along with Australia, China, South Korea, and reigning world champions Japan (1). Thailand will be entering the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup ranked 29th in the world (2).
Thailand national team history and successes
Despite not having been a participant in any of the previous FIFA Women’s World Cups, Thailand has been one of the AFC’s most successful women’s national soccer teams. Thailand have won the AFC Women’s championship once in 1985 and have also finished as runner up on three separate occasions (1975, 1977, and 1981) (3).
Along with their success in the AFC Women’s championship, Thailand has also been successful in the SEA games. At the SEA Games, Thailand have been crowned champions in soccer on five different occasions and have never placed lower than third (4).
2010 AFC Women’s Championship and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers
Thailand would find themselves starting their 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification campaign by playing in the preliminary qualification matches for the 2010 AFC Women’s Championship. Starting in the second round of qualifiers for the tournament, Thailand found themselves placed in group B along with Iran and Uzbekistan. Thailand would start their campaign by playing Uzbekistan to 6-1 win and following that with an 8-1 win against Iran. By beating both teams in their AFC qualifier group, Thailand managed to qualify for the 2010 AFC Women’s Championship (5).
In the 2010 AFC Championship, Thailand found themselves placed in Group A along with Myanmar, Japan and North Korea (Korea DPR). Thailand would start their AFC tournament campaign with 0-3 loss against North Korea. Having a loss at hand, Thailand would need to earn a draw against Japan, who had demolished Myanmar by eight goals, to keep their chances of advancing alive. Things would not go Thailand’s way when they met with Japan as they would find themselves losing 0-4 and finding themselves without any chance of advancing onto the next round. Thailand would finish their AFC Women’s Championship and 2011 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Myanmar (5).
2014 AFC Women’s Championship and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier
Moving on from their losses at the 2010 AFC Women’s Championship and failure to qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Thailand hoped to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup through the 2014 AFC Women’s Championship. For the preliminary qualifiers for the 2014 AFC Women’s Championship, Thailand found themselves in group B along with The Philippines, Iran, and Bangladesh. Thailand would find themselves as the winners of their group after: beating Iran 5-1, playing the Phillipines to 1-0 win, and shutting out Bangladesh in a 9-0 win. Having won their group, Thailand would advance onto the 2014 AFC Women’s Championship tournament (6).
In the 2014 AFC Women’s Championship, Thailand would find themselves placed in group B along with South Korea (Korea Republic), China, and Myanmar. In the group stage, Thailand would compile a 1-2 record as they lost 0-7 to China, 0-4 to South Korea, and beat Myanmar 2-1. Finding themselves finishing third in their group, Thailand would not be able to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, but would still be able to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup if they managed to earn 5th place. With a world cup spot on the line, Thailand played Veietnam and locked in their spot in the 2015 women’s world cup with a 2-1 victory (7).
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
For the 2015 edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Thailand have found themselves placed in group B with Cote d’Ivoire, Norway and Germany. With Thailand not having entered a women’s world cup before, they are not expected to advance from the group stage or win. As of February, Thailand has been given 300/1 odds to leave the tournament as world champions (8).
Player to Watch: Naphat Seesraum
Thailand’s player to watch is none other than their captain, Naphat Seesraum. Seesraum is a 27 year old midfielder for Thailand who plays for BG-Bandit Asia. Before playing for BG-Bandit Asia, Seesraum played for Speranza FC in the Nadeshiko League of Japan, where she was the third Thai player to play for the club (9). Naphat Seesraum has served as captain for the Thailand squad that placed 5th at the 2014 AFC Women’s Championship, which earned the team a spot at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (10). Seesraum made her international debut in 2007 and has won 1st place in the SEA Games in 2007 and 2013 with Thailand (11). As captain, Seesraum will be looking to lead her country to victory and will be a threat to other players due in part to her speed and experience (9).
1)”FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ – Teams – FIFA.com.” FIFA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/road-to-canada/asia.html>.
2)”The FIFA Women’s World Ranking – FIFA.com.” FIFA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/women/index.html>.
3)”Thaifootball.com — Team Honors –.” Thaifootball.com — Team Honors —. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.thaifootball.com/team-honor.html>.
4)”Thailand Women’s National Football Team.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand_women%27s_national_football_team>.
5)”FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.” FIFA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fifa.com/tournaments/archive/womensworldcup/germany2011/preliminaries/zone=253335/index.html>.
6) “Schedule & Results | AFC.” Schedule & Results | AFC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.the-afc.com/afcasfeeds?view=all&id=141&type=Stage&Itemid=419>.
7) “Asian Cup Women 2014 – Soccer Asia, Live Results.” Asian Cup Women 2014 Results. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.soccer24.com/asia/asian-cup-women/?t=GlLOxtNu&ts=v3FUnkdc>.
8) “2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Odds – USA Opens as Favorite.” Linemakers. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://linemakers.sportingnews.com/article/4635523-womens-world-cup-odds-2015-betting-lines-las-vegas-usa-germany-brazil-japan>.
9) “WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Seesraum Joins Osaka’s Speranza FC.”Aseanfootball.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.aseanfootball.org/v2/?p=13308>.
10) “AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014 Squad Lists – Womens Soccer United.”Womens Soccer United Site Wide Activity RSS. N.p., 13 May 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.womenssoccerunited.com/afc-womens-asian-cup-2014-squads/>.
11)”Naphat Seesraum.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphat_Seesraum>.
a) Thailand Ranking.
b) Thailand Women’s National Football Team Results at SEA Games
c) 2010 AFC Preliminaries
d) 2014 AFC preliminaries.
e) Naphat Seesraum
How to cite this article: “Thailand” Written by Johnny Salinas (2015), World Cup 2015, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/world-cup-guides/world-cup-2015-guide/players-to-watch-at-the-2015-womens-world-cup/thailand/ (accessed on (date))