Thailand suffered losses on and off the pitch at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday.
The Chaba Kaew’s miserable run at France 2019 ended with a 2-0 defeat against Chile in their final Group F game, leading to both manager Nualphan Lamsam and coach Nuengruethai Sathongwien quitting the national side.
Thailand failed to earn a single point in France, having been hammered 13-0 by the US and 5-1 by Sweden in their first two games.
They let their opponents find the net 20 times in the 2019 tournament and now hold the record of conceding the highest number of goals in one World Cup, surpassing the previous mark set by Argentina, who conceded 18 in 2007.
Captain and forward Kanjana Sungngoen salvaged some pride for the Thais as she scored the country’s only goal at France 2019 against Sweden in their second game on Sunday.
Shortly after the loss to Chile, who also also failed to make it to the second stage, Nualphan and Nuengruethai both announced their resignations.”We were hoping to claim three points but the Chileans played very well — they have many good players and play at a high pace,” said Nualphan.
“We could see it in the second half when their substitute players upped the tempo of their game and made us concede two goals.
“Our forward Taneekarn Dangda could not play because of suspension so we were short of options as well.”
Nualphan added: “This is the second World Cup for me and the team and also our coach Nuengruetai, who helped the team qualify for the finals for the second time in a row.
“I have been the team manager since 2008 or for nearly 12 years and have developed a good relationship with the players over this time.
“I have already informed the players that both myself and coach Nueng have decided to quit.
“I would like to thank all the players in the team and I am ready to give them morale support because we all have to look ahead and keep walking.
“However, I am not leaving these players at all. Some of them are hired by my insurance company. We have been like a family for a long time.”
Nuengruethai also admitted that the Chileans were the better team.
The outgoing coach said: “The Women’s World Cup has been a great and important experience for Thailand that we can use to improve the game further in our country.
“As far as the overall performance of the team in this tournament is concerned, I would say that we could not achieve our target because we had aimed to go better than four years ago [when they had one win and two losses in their World Cup debut].
“Every team in this group was better than us. We have to share this experience with the younger generation so that they are better prepared whenever they qualify again for the World Cup finals.
“This was my last tournament as the head coach of the Thai women’s team.
“Actually, I had conveyed this to Khun Nualphan when she asked me to become the head coach of the team during the World Cup qualifiers.
“We were both keen on making history by taking the Thai team to the World Cup finals for the second time in a row but my plans were always to quit after this event regardless of results.
“I have a job at the Sports School in Khon Kaen, so I will be going back to work there again after this.”
The Chaba Kaew are scheduled to arrive in Bangkok this morning.