Football: Saudis smash Thai hopes of payback in comfortable 3-0 World Cup qualifier win

Bangkok (AFP) - Saudi Arabia gave Thailand a slapdown in a crushing 3-0 World Cup Group B qualifier victory on Thursday, with two strikes sandwiching a devastating own goal from the Thais on their home turf.

The win cements Saudi Arabia's leading spot in Group B and propels the team one step closer to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

It also ended Thailand's hope of exacting revenge over the hotly-contested penalty kick that handed the Saudis a 1-0 win in the final minutes of a match in Riyadh last September.

But passionate roars from the home fans in Bangkok's Rajamangala stadium on Thursday were not enough to propel the players to victory.

Saudi Arabia's sharpshooter Mohammed Al Sahlawi put his team on top early on when he took a pass from Nawaf Al Abid down on his chest and struck the ball into the net in the 25th minute.

Thailand put up an admirable defence throughout most of the match and looked dangerous a number of times.

But the team was unable to score a goal and morale plummeted after Tanaboon Kesarat accidentally turned the ball into his own net in the 84th minute as he tried to block a cross.

The brutal defeat was sealed in an action-packed finale as Taisir Al Jassim set Salman Almuwashar up for a killer injury-time strike in the 92nd minute.

Thailand remain bottom of the table, having lost every match in the qualifying round save for a 2-2 draw with Australia in November.