Heavens open as Liverpool thump Thai All Stars

Bangkok – A host of new Liverpool signings got
their first chance to play in team colours under
torrential Bangkok skies Tuesday as the Reds
comfortably defeated the Thai All Stars 4-0 in a
friendly.
The English Premier League side were visiting the
Thai capital for the first stop on an end-of-season
tour that will also take in Malaysia and Australia.

Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez and Danny Ings all
made their debut appearance in the first half at
the imposing Rajamangala stadium.
Success came within three minutes. A clever
pass from Joao Carlos Teixeira found Lazar
Markovic, who easily took the ball round the
keeper and slotted it home.
Shortly before half time it was two as a Teixira
corner found Mamadou Sakho who flicked the ball
into the far corner with a thumping header.
Kiatisuk Senamuang’s All Star team, made up of
local premier league players, showed energy and
determination but were easily outmatched in
quality, rarely pestering the Liverpool defenders
or goal line.
In contrast Thai keeper Warut Mekmusik was
tested throughout, forced to make good saves
against shots by Ings and Jordan Rossiter that
looked like they were all but going into the back of
the net.
The second half began with an entire team
change by manager Brendan Rodgers allowing
Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Divock Origi to
make their debuts accompanied by driving
monsoon rains that hampered visibility and soon
turned much of the stadium’s running track into a
virtual moat.
As fans and press scurried to the back of the
stands to shelter, Liverpool kept on the attack,
showing little sign of being bothered by the
deluge.
In the 52nd minute captain Jordan Henderson
picked out Adam Lallana with a cheeky rabona
who thundered home the third goal of the night.
New man Origi must have thought he would never
make it four with the ball hitting the woodwork
twice and a yards out shot denied by a
remarkable save from the Thai goalkeeper.
But the young Belgian was finally rewarded in the
86th minute with a header off a Henderson cross
that careered into the Thai goal.
Conditions at the lightly filled 50,000 capacity Thai
stadium were somewhat removed from Anfield,
with the mercury hovering around 31 centigrade
(89 fahrenheit) even once the heavens opened.
By the latter stages of the game any hopes for a
clever passing game had evaporated with the ball
regularly coming a halt in an increasingly
waterlogged pitch.
English football commands a huge following in
Thailand and it is not uncommon to see entire
skyscrapers in Bangkok decked in advertising
featuring stars from the premier league.
The kingdom has become a regular stopping off
point for lucrative pre-season tours around Asia
with Chelsea and Leicester both making trips to
Thailand this summer.
Liverpool have now made five visits to the capital
since 2001, winning four and drawing one.
The visitors are scheduled to leave Bangkok after
the match for Malaysia.
The tour has been somewhat overshadowed by
the absence of Rahim Sterling who had initially
been named in the 30 man squad.
On arriving in Bangkok Monday, Brendan Rodgers
confirmed the 20-year-old was leaving for a rival
club, bringing to a close what has become this
summer’s most acrimonious transfer.
British media say Sterling is off to Manchester
City in a 49 million ($76 million, 68 million euro)
deal.

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