AFF WOMEN’S: Thailand-Australia rematch in final

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It will be a Thailand and Under-20 Australia re-match in the final of the AFF Women’s Championship this year following the rather expected results in the semi-final matches that was played simultaneously this evening. 

Defending champions Thailand came back from a goal down to beat Myanmar 3-1 at the Jaka Baring Stadium while Vietnam failed to hold on to their early lead to succumb to a 4-2 loss in the other semi-finals at the Bumi Sriwiaya Stadium.

“The team responded well when Myanmar turned defensive after they got the lead,” said Thailand head coach Nuengrutai Sraithongvian, whose team had beaten U20 Australia 4-2 in the group stage.

“But after getting the equaliser, we changed tactics and that worked well for us to get the win.”

The match did not actually come alive up until the 24th minute where off a quick counter-attack; Myanmar put their noses in front when Khin Moe Wai fired in – much to the surprise of the confident Thai.

Rattled, Thailand got their act together and where after some sustained pressure got the goal and the equaliser they were looking for in the 34th minute through the speedy Kanjana Sung-Ngoen who slammed in the rebound.

Into the second half, veteran Pitsamai Somsai headed in a 52nd minute freekick from Silawan Intamee as Rattikan Thongsombut then finished things off in the 63rd minute with Thailand’s third goal of the game.

“Today, Thailand were a better team than us. That is something which we should accept,” said Myanmar head coach Win Thu Moe.

“We tried very hard to win the game but Thailand were just better. So we have to learn from this and try to get better when we play them again.”

While there were some expectations for a surprise in the semi-finals, it was not to be at the Bumi Sriwijaya Stadium as Vietnam seemed to be lacking in confidence as they allowed U20 Australia more of the possession.

“When the opponents scored the first goal, I just tell the players to keep playing and keep pushing,” said Australia head coach Leah Blayney.

“Naturally, we are very happy with the result today because we reached the final of this tournament. We are looking forward to playing in the final.”

Even though Vietnam managed to break the deadlock in the 17th minute when Nguyet Thi Tuyet Dung fired from the edge of the Australian box, that lead was to last for less than a minute.

The wily Alexandra Chidiac, who had missed a cross earlier, more than made up for it when he capitalised on a lapse in the Vietnam defense to stab the ball home to put the score at 1-1.

Vietnam seemed to be rattled by the quick reply and in the 35th minute, Australia went ahead when Courtney Jade Nevin fired in from some 25metres for the 2-1 lead.

Vietnam tried to pull level with a double chance off the hardwork from Tuyet Dung and Pham Hoang Quynh but they were unable to make them count as the score stood well into the second half.

Vietnam continued to struggle with self-belief  as Australia then trudged forward to a 3-1 lead on 63rd minute with Kyra Cooney Cross swinging in from the right to beat custodian Tran Thi Kim Thanh yet again.

Australia’s fourth goal of the game came in the 75th minute of play with Chidiac running through the Vietnam defense while the game ended with a penalty for the latter that was finished by Tuyet Dung after Nguyen Thi My Anh was brought down inside the box.

“We tried very hard to win this game and while we scored first, I thought that the players were not so confident, so they always lose possession. That disrupted our game plan,” said Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chun.

“Our team has several new, younger players, so we will have to be better.”

 

AFF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

RESULTS

SF 1Thailand 3 Myanmar 1

SF 2Vietnam 2 U20 Australia 4

 

FIXTURES – 13 July 2018

(Both matches at the Jaka Baring Stadium)

FINAL (1900) – Thailand vs U20 Australia

THIRD and FOURTH PLACING (1600)  – Vietnam v Myanmar

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