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Ivory Coast 2 (Nguessan 4, Nahi 88) Thailand 3 (Srimanee 26,45, Chawong 75)
Thailand recorded their first ever World Cup Finals victory after recovering from an early setback but they needed to withstand a late onslaught in order to claim the points.
The two teams had suffered heavy defeats in their opening matches but conjured up a thrilling match between themselves and could have produced several more goals. However there was controversy over what proved to be Thailand's winning goal as a clear offside decision was not given.
Ivory Coast started the game brightly and were rewarded in the fourth minute by taking the lead. A corner was headed back into the middle by Christine Lohoues, Ines Nrehy tried an acrobatic effort to score but it was Ange Nguessan who swept the ball home from close range.
Despite the early setback, Thailand started to grow in confidence and got themselves back on level terms. A long ball over the top was chased down by Anootsara Maijarern whose cross was cushioned home on the volley by Orathai Srimanee for the equaliser.
An astonishing couple of minutes in first half injury time turned the match in Thailand's favour. First, the Ivory Coast should have gone back in front when Josee Nahi's centre picked out Nrehy in front of goal but with the goal gaping, her shot hit the post.
Thailand made the most of the reprieve and went on the attack, Rattikan Thongsombut breaking down the right and whipping in a delightful cross for Srimanee who beat Dominique Thiamale to the ball with a header which hit the underside of the bar and bounced over the line, goal line technology confirming that her side had gone in front.
The game remained open after the break but with fifteen minutes remaining, Thailand looked to have made the game safe. However Maijarern clearly looked offside as the ball was flicked on to her and she kept it in play as Thiamale came out. Maijarern's cross was deflected, looped over a stranded Thiamale and bounced awkwardly for the defenders, Thanatta Chawong stealing in to nod home from close range.
There was no disputing Ivory Coast's goal two minutes from time, which gave them revived hopes of a fightback. Josee Nahi won the ball just inside the Thailand half and embarked on a solo run which took her past three opponents before sliding a shot past Waraporn Boonsing from the edge of the area.
Suddenly Ivory Coast sensed the chance of a point and threw everything they could at the Thailand defence. First, Rebecca Elloh smashed a shot against the bar and in the final minute of injury time, the ball broke kindly to Christine Lohoues in the area, her shot was parried by Boonsing but the rebound came at an awkward height for Nguessan and she could only help it back into the arms of the keeper.
Several of the Ivorian players sank to the turf on the final whistle whilst the Thais celebrated a hard earned three points.
Ivory Coast: Dominique Thiamale, Fatou Coulibaly, Djelika Coulibaly, Ida Guehai (sub Jessica Aby 81mins), Fernande Tchetche, Rita Akaffou (sub Rebecca Elloh 45mins), Christine Lohoues, Ines Nrehy, Binta Diakite (sub Josee Nahi 34mins), Ange Nguessan, Raymonde Kacou.
Thailand: Waraporn Boonsing, Nisa Romyen (sub Rattikan Thongsombut 43mins), Natthakarn Chinwong (sub Darut Changplook 90mins), Duangnapa Sritala, Kanjana Sung-Ngoen, Pikul Khueanpet, Silawan Intamee, Orathai Srimanee (sub Thanatta Chawong 73mins), Warunee Phetwiset, Sunisa Srangthaisong, Anootsara Maijarern.
Player of the match: Orathai Srimanee.
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