The Thailand national team defended the “Friendly Cup” against its regional rival, the Hong Kong national team, to keep the trophy in Thailand. This was the second game in the two game 2010 series between the two countries, the first inaugural game was in Kawloon, Hong Kong. The game was historically significant as it was the first ever lacrosse game to be played in Thailand.
After falling behind 4-1 in the first quarter, Thailand bounced back to win 10-7 in a hard fought battle. Captain Todd Vongsridej led Thailand with two goals, the first coming in the first quarter on a dramatic dive into the crease. Despite being new to the sport, over 600 fans braved the storm to come out and support the team. The Thai crowd cheered enthusiastically throughout the game, many times lifting the Thai team to a higher level of play.
MLL stars Sean Lindsay and Chazz Woodson were in Thailand to support the TLA with team training and development as well as helping to promote the sport. They were two of a small of group of pioneer top class lacrosse players that sacrificed their time to come to Bangkok to help out the TLA. Chazz said of the event “Congrats to the men of Thailand Lacrosse for getting a win in the first ever game played in their country! There’s a LOT to build on here. The crowd was into it, and really enjoyed themselves. Happy that we were able to be a part of it.”
In an emotional ceremony following the game, Thai team Captain and President of the Thailand Lacrosse Association, Prantarit Nerngchamong, was presented with the Friendly Cup by the General of the Thailand Royal Air Force. Prantarit said afterward to the press “This historic night could not happen with out the joint efforts of many parties that come together, from our team partners, the Japanese Lacrosse Association, the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association, and the FIL. As well as the referees who flew from Japan and Singapore to officiate this game and more importantly fans, and families who came out to support us. So for that on behalf of the TLA I thank you”
It’s safe to say that lacrosse has found a new home in Thailand, and that the Thailand national lacrosse team will be one of Asia’s teams to watch in the coming years. The Thailand team will participate in the regional ASPAC 2011 tournament in New Zealand next year, along side Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand and Australia.