|FROM Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand
A hard-fought 2-1 win over the Philippines despite a dominating performance, and Thai coach Winfried Schafer was still a satisfied man at the post-match conference.
Two late first-half strikes ensured the victory but a defensive lapse late in the game allowed the Azkals to claw a goal back for a tense finish.
"It was a difficult game, as I expected," admitted Schafer.
"The Philippines have many Europe-based players. They are a good team, and they were very well organized tonight, we needed some 20 mins to begin to create chances.
"But congratulations to my team, they played very well, some fantastic moments. [We made] only one mistake [but] we should have scored the third goal and closed the game, [instead] we gave a chance to the Philipines.
"Teerathorn from Buriram and Anucha from Chomburi played very well, but all players were good. It was a fantastic game, and we can all see that we have a very good team now."
Schafer also pointed out that his side were only just reaching their full strength having had to deal with injuries and absentees in the warm-up matches.
"In the games we played against Malaysia and Bhutan in the previous weeks, we still had many players out due to injury," he told Goal.com Singapore.
"This was a different team, it was the first time we played with these players. We had only a few weeks to prepare this team, but I am very happy on how we played, the team spirit was really fantastic."
The silver-haired German then shared his thoughts on the upcoming Myanmar match adding : "The game against Myanmar is very different, We need to play it at 100% and to be fit. In the second half we were not perfect, and we let the Philippines come back into the match. But with Myanmar we must do better, it is a very important game and we have to win it."
For Hans Michael Weiss, who was sent off late in the second-half, the defeat was one that he was willing to accept as he played down his team's Europe links.
"Congrats to Thailand, overall it was a deserved victory for them," he graciously said.
"We had a good start, for the first 15 to20 mins, then they became more aggressive and they built up well. We couldn't stay focused and we conceded two goals.
"In the second half, I tried a couple of changes that paid off and I think we contained them well in the second half and I wanted to push it in the last 20 minutes."
Thailand will take on dark-horses Myanmar next while Philippines will be up against Vietnam. Both matches will be played on November 27.