Teerasil’s stock soars after hat-trick

Teerasil’s stock soars after hat-trick

Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda lit up the AFF Suzuki Cup on Tuesday with a brilliant hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Myanmar that will have alerted top clubs in Europe and Asia to his exceptional goalscoring ability.

Teerasil Dangda scored a hat-trick against Myanmar (Photo: Goal.com Asia)

His 24 goals for Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United last season have already resulted in reported interest from sides in Turkey, England, Japan and South Korea and the list is sure to grow.

Teerasil’s hat-trick against Myanmar was his second in three international matches after pulling off the feat in the 5-0 win over Bangladesh in a friendly on November 17.

Thailand tactician Winfried Schafer, a shrewd judge of talent who coached the iconic Samuel Eto’o during his spell in charge of Cameroon, was effusive in his praise of Teerasil.

“Teerasil is one of the best players in Asia – he is fantastic,” said Schafer. “He is very clever and a good finisher – everybody likes him.

“He had a long time injury and I had meetings with the Muang Thong United president and manager (about his rehabilitation). Now he is at a fantastic level and I am very happy with how he is playing.”

The 24-year-old Teerasil is competing in his third AFF Suzuki Cup and has improved his positioning, control and finishing since the 2008 tournament where he found the net four times, including in the second leg of the final against eventual champions Vietnam.

He had little opportunity to shine in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup as a jaded-looking Thailand team headed to the exit after the group stage following an indifferent campaign.

The rough diamond of 2008 and 2010 is now a polished gem for club and country as witnessed by the way he took his goals against Myanmar.

Teerasil, however, looks likely to miss the final group game against Vietnam on Friday with the cagey Schafer planning to rest three players, including the striker, who are on yellow cards.

Phichitphong Choechiu will miss the game through suspension after picking up two yellow cards and Schafer will give midfield general Datsakorn Thonglao more time to recover from a nagging groin injury.

“We have three players on yellow cards and they will not play. The yellow cards are wiped clean before the semi-finals so it is too big a risk (to play those on yellows) as maybe we will lose them for the last four,” he said.

Schafer added that Thailand would not be taking their foot off the pedal against Vietnam who still have a chance to qualify if they beat the three time champions.

“I want to win against Vietnam, I do not like losing matches,” he said. “We have to play at the same level as the first two matches. We have good players to come in like Sompong Soleb”.

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