The United Arab Emirates wouldn’t allow an early deficit to effect them later on, defeating Thailand by a score of 5-2 in their first game of the 2015 Challenge Cup of Asia.

Despite the Emirates coming in as the clear favourites, Thailand somehow managed to grab the 2-0 lead in the first period. At 8:25 in the first, Kittiphat Ongvisagepaiboon ripped a shot from the point, giving his Thai team the 1-0 lead to start the contest. The Emirates were hoping that the goal was only a product of having the extra man, but a goal by Thailand’s best forward Panithi Nawasmittawong just four minutes later really put the heat on the favourites to win the contest.

UAE was lucky enough to get one before the end of the first. With two minutes remaining, Juma Al Dhaheri fired one home after taking a pass from Saeed Al Nuaimi to end Prawes Kaewjeen’s shutout bid early. Kaewjeen was recognized as Thailand’s best player at the end of the contest, making 45 saves against a much stronger Emirates roster.

The Emirates were able to get the tie going in the second period, but it was their third period effort that really stood out. Led by Al Nuaimi, who scored two goals, the team managed to take the 5-2 lead with seven minutes to go, putting the game away thanks to the three goal advantage. As close as it may have been for UAE, they were only able to take down Thailand 5-4 last year, proving that these two teams are solid Asian rivals in a championship that doesn’t include many.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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