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Five-star Thailand romp to victory

Thailand started their build-up for the AFF Suzuki Cup in some style on Wednesday with a thumping 5-1 victory over the Thai Premier League (TPL) All-Stars.

Three goals in the final 10 minutes put the gloss on a result that will have pleased Thai coach Winfried Schafer as he prepares the three-time champions for Group A matches against 2008 winners Vietnam, the Philippines and the top-placed team in the qualifying tournament.

Teerasil Dangda, Sumanya Purisai, Chatree Chimtale, Mongkol Namnuad and Adul Lasoh were on target for Thailand with Brazilian Douglas Cardozo scoring from the spot to bring the All-Stars level at 1-1 just before half-time

Schafer had picked a squad of 28 players but lost twins Surat and Suree Sukha, Pipob On-mo and Natthaphong Samana through injury.

He fielded an experienced side for the first 45 minutes before making wholesale changes in the second half, with four of the substitutes getting on the scoresheet.

The pick of the goals was the opener with midfield maestro Datsakorn Thonglao combining brilliantly with Teerasil.

Datsakorn turned two players before finding Teerasil with a beautiful through ball. The Muang Thong United striker, currently top scorer in the Thai Premier League with 15 goals, squeezed between two defenders before making room for himself to slide a low shot past the goalkeeper.

The All-Stars deservedly drew level through Cardozo but the heavy pitch took its toll in the closing stages and they ran out of legs as the Thailand substitutes took control of the match with neat inter-passing, strong running on and off the ball and clinical finishing.