OTTAWA (Reuters) - Striker Orathai Srimanee scored two first half goals to lead World Cup debutants Thailand to a pulsating 3-2 comeback win over fellow minnows Ivory Coast in their women’s World Cup Group B match on Thursday.
The result was tough luck on the Africans, the lowest-ranked side of the 24 in the tournament, who hit the woodwork three times. Many of their players collapsed distraught on the pitch at the end of the game.
“We did everything we could to relaunch our campaign after the German game but it didn’t work out for us... hitting the woodwork three times is a real shame,” said Ivory Coast coach Clementine Toure.
“We came to learn. We have a very young team and we will leave with lots of lessons from this World Cup.”
Ivory Coast striker Ange Nguessan put her side ahead in the fourth minute after a mix-up in the box before Srimanee scored with a low shot in the 26th minute and an injury time header that went in off the bar.
Substitute Thanatta Chawong took advantage of some comical errors to head home in the 75th minute before Ivory Coast’s Josee Nahi scored with a fine shot in the 88th minute after running 40 meters through the tiring Thai defense.
“I feel happy because it’s the first three points for our team,” said Thailand coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian, whose team next face top-ranked Germany.
“We think we are lucky to meet the best team in the world and we think playing Germany will give us a lot of experience.”
Both sides were looking for better performances after suffering heavy defeats in the opening round. Ivory Coast were thrashed 10-0 by Germany while Thailand lost 4-0 to Norway.
Earlier in the day Germany and Norway drew 1-1 to virtually guarantee they will move into the second round. Thailand are third on three points while Ivory Coast have none.
Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by Nick Mulvenney