Ex-Japan coach Nishino takes charge of Thailand

BANGKOK — Former Japan manager Akira Nishino is the new coach of the Thailand senior and under-23 teams.

Nishino agreed to take the job on Monday after a four-hour meeting with Football Association of Thailand chief Somyot Poompamoung in Bangkok.

He will coach Thailand in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, and take the under-23s to the 2019 South East Asia Games and 2020 Asia under-23 championship, the Thai FA said.

Nishino attended Thai league games on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite only two months with Japan before the 2018 World Cup, he led the Blue Samurai to the round of 16, almost causing a huge upset before losing to Belgium 3-2. That ended his brief contract with Japan, which sought a long-term coach.

Nishino succeeded Milovan Rajevac as Thailand coach. Rajevac was sacked in January, the day after Thailand lost to India 4-1 in its opening match of the Asian Cup. Former assistant Sirisak Yodyardthai led Thailand the rest of the way, and resigned after the King's Cup last month, when the team was fourth out of four after another loss to India.

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