Thailand striker Kanjana promises to carry on

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Striker Kanjana Sungngoen says she will continue playing for Thailand after the resignations of long-serving manager Nualphan Lamsam and coach Nuengruethai Sathongwien.

The Chaba Kaew arrived in Bangkok on Saturday after their horrible show at the Women’s World Cup in France.

They suffered three losses — 13-0 against the US, 5-1 against Sweden and 2-0 against Chile.

Nualphan and Nuengruethai announced their departures shortly after they were beaten by Chile on Thursday.

The only bright spot in Thailand’s campaign at France 2019 was Kanjana’s goal against Sweden.

“We are happy that we could score at the World Cup. Although we were eliminated, we are not sad because we gave our all,” Kanjana said at Suvarnabhumi airport.

“We got a valuable experience from playing with high-ranking teams. We have to admit that the opponent players were strong and it was difficult for us to compete against them.”

Kanjana, 32, insisted that she would not quit playing football now.

“I am ready to continue to help the country because this is our duty. We understand Khun Pang’s [Nualphan] feelings. We love her like our mother. We all feel sad that she quit the national team,” she said.

“We have to thank all Thai fans who always give us moral support. We may lose and cry, but they are always with us.”

Thailand striker Kanjana Sungngoen, right, is welcomed by an FAT official.

Left-back Sunisa Srangthaisong said: “Madam Pang worked hard for women’s football and we are saddened by her resignation.

“But we will continue playing for the country. I have talked to several teammates who all said they won’t quit playing for the national team right now.”

Nuengruethai said: “Overall, it was a disappointing campaign because we failed to reach our target. We wanted to reach the last 16 round but were eliminated in the first round and could not beat any team.”

She insisted her resignation had nothing to do with the dismal show in France.

She said she and Nualphan had planned to leave the national team after France 2019.

Meanwhile, Patit Supapong, deputy secretary-general of the Football Association of Thailand, said it’s a pity that Nualphan and Nuengruethai had quit the national side.

“We respect their decisions and thank them for their outstanding services,” he said.

It is the FAT’s duty to prepare the team for two upcoming tournaments — the Asean championship in Chon Buri in August and the SEA Games in the Philippines later this year, he said.

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