Japan
Japan players during a training session a day before the match, Sep.5, 2016Reuters

Thailand and Japan will want to recover from their opening round losses when the two teams clash in Bangkok for a crucial 2018 World Cup Asian qualifier on Tuesday.

While Thailand's 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia was not that big a surprise, Japan going down to the UAE 2-1 certainly was, and that too in front of their own fans.

Expected to boss Group B, Japan got off to the worst start possible when they let an early lead slip to allow the Emirates team take all three points.

It all seemed to be going well for Japan, when Keisuke Honda headed in a freekick from Hiroshi Kiyotake in just the 11th minute. However, UAE captain Ahmed Khalil scored either side of halftime to give UAE the lead, with the Middle East side holding on to the win, after Takuma Asano, the new Arsenal striker, was denied a goal, despite replays suggesting the ball might have crossed the line.

Japan, though, will know this is a match they should have comfortably won, having missed quite a few chances, which they would have normally buried into the back of the net.

The Asian powerhouses cannot afford to make such mistakes against Thailand, who will be desperate to show they are not just here to make up the numbers.

Thailand held on gallantly, and even had a few chances, against Saudi Arabia, with the latter only winning the match thanks to a late penalty from Nawaf Al Abed. While the loss would have hurt, particularly since it came with an 86th minute goal, Thailand will also take encouragement from the result.

Not many have given the South East Asian side much chance of making an impact in this round of the World Cup qualifiers, so Thailand have little pressure weighing down on their shoulders, which frees them up to go and express themselves.

The same cannot be said of Japan, though. After losing their first match at home, Vahid Halilhoszic's team will know only three points will do on Tuesday.

Where to Watch Live

Thailand vs Japan is set to begin at 7.15 p.m. local time (5.45 p.m. IST). Live streaming and TV information for the World Cup qualifier is below.

India: No live coverage.

Japan: TV: NHK and Asahi.

Thailand: TV: Fox Sports and BBTV Channel 7.

USA: TV: ESPN3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.

China and Hong Kong: TV: LeTV.

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