2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Thailand thump USA, ignite semi-final hopes - News

Thailand thump USA, ignite semi-final hopes

16 October 2016

The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup has entered its decisive phase as an unsparing Thailand relentlessly crushed the United States of America 69-22 in a one-sided encounter. USA looked completely outplayed against the agile Thai players as the Asian team strengthened their semi-final hopes with a performance of sheer dominance. Thai captain and raider Khomsan Thongkham excelled with 14 points, including one for tackle. He was well supported by Chanwit Wichian with 12 raid points, playing a stellar role for his side.

It was a steady start for both teams but after that it was Thailand all the way. The USA defenders, lying deep behind the bonus line, kept on giving easy bonus points to the Thai raiders. Within nine minutes, USA suffered their first all-out, trailing by 13 points. Dillyon Banks ended USA's bad run with a touch point in the 15th minute. The Americans were reduced to one man in the 17th minute and were hanging by a slender thread, when Thailand imposed two more all-outs at the edge of half time.

Thongkham's stunning Super 10 gave Thailand an unassailable 41-3 lead at the end of the first 20 minutes. 

As the second half began, USA started to play as a unit but it was too late to make a comeback from that point. In the 26th minute, it was USA who posted the first super tackle of the match as their defenders blocked Santi Bunchoet's retreat, which took their team's total into two figures. The final whistle blew with USA being all-out for the fifth time and Thailand emerged as the comfortable winners. 

It was interesting to see the Thai coach give his bench some mat time. They next play Japan, which will in all likelihood decide who qualifies for the semi-finals from Group B. USA are out of contention but will hope to grab a solitary win against Kenya. That will mean a lot to them and their fans.

Check out our MatchCentre for the complete stats and play-by-play updates of the first match today.