Preview: China vs Thailand

One of the qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup will be played in Shenyang, where the Chinese national team will take on Thailand at the Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.

Photo: thecfa.cn / Author unknown

China

The Chinese national team took part in the 2024 Asian Cup in Qatar. In three matches, the ‘Great Wall’ scored only two points thanks to draws with the national teams of Tajikistan and Lebanon. The Chinese had a chance to clinch a playoff spot, but in a key third-round match, China lost to the hosts and eventual tournament winner Qatar.

In terms of qualification for the 2026 World Cup, China beat Thailand 2-1 away in the first round, but were then slapped in the face by South Korea 0-3 on home soil. In the two meetings in March, the Chinese national team picked up four points against Singapore – 2-2 away and 4-1 at home. At the moment, China is in second place in the standings, behind South Korea three points.

Thailand

The draw sent the ‘war elephants’ to a fairly easy group at the Asian Cup in Qatar, which Thailand couldn’t help but take advantage of. Masatada Ishii’s team made it through to the play-offs after winning only one match in the group against Kyrgyzstan 2-0. In the 1/8 finals, however, they failed to keep their gates shut and Thailand exited the tournament with a 1-2 loss to Uzbekistan.

At the start of qualifying for the Mundial, Thailand picked up 4 points in four matches. In particular, they earned a 3-1 away win over Singapore and a draw against group leaders South Korea. Nevertheless, in the return leg, everything fell into place as South Korea defeated the War Elephants 0-3.

Interesting facts about the match and history of head-to-head encounters

  • In the first qualifying match, China defeated Thailand away with a score of 2:1
  • In the last five encounters between these teams, China has won four times, with the War Elephants winning once.

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