AFF WOMEN’S: Thais win Group A; U20 Australia runners-up

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Defending champions Thailand powered past the Under-20 Australia 4-2 to win Group A of the AFF Women’s Championship as the latter made the passage to the next round as the runners-up.

In the decisive match in the group to decide the team classifications before the semi-finals on 11 July, the game was evenly fought at the start as the young Australian side matched the Thais blow for blow.

After Princess Megan Isei missed with a grounder after ten minutes, the Australian seemed to have taken a back seat as Thailand grew in confidence.

The presence of the robust Suchawadee Nildhamrong made the difference at the centre of the park when she created two good opportunities – the first was a stiff grounder that narrowly missed the target while the second was a cross that she should have gotten to.

With the score tied at the half, the game finally came alive in the 50th minute when Silawan Intamee reined in the lead off a through pass from Kanjana Sung-Ngoen.

A three-minute blitz saw Thailand adding to the scoreline with Kanjana slamming in all three goals with the first off Suchawadee providing the sublime cross.

The remainder of her hat-trick was nailed off solo efforts when she ran past her marker to beat Australian keeper Jada Mathyssen.

However, Australia still managed to drag themselves back into contention with their first goal coming in the 86th minute with a penalty from Alexandra Chidiac before Kyra Cooney-Cross added the second right at the end.

“We have accomplished our target, but we need to fix some mistakes from the closing stages in the game,” said Thailand head coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian.

“The team must learn from that. So many evaluation, but thank God we are finally through reach the semifinal. And we can now concentrate for the next match.”

“It’s about mental of our team today. The Thai team scored 4 goals and then we can reach two goals. It’s not easy for us against the Thailand team who played well, since they are playing with the main or senior squad of the national team,” said U20 Australian head coach Leah Blayney.

“We only play with the young squad. It is not an excuse, but we are really proud that the team could score two after letting in four goals.”

In the meantime in an earlier match, Malaysia completed their fixtures with a 4-0 beating of Timor Leste.

Both teams are already out of contention for places to the next round.

In a scrappy tie, Malaysians did enough to scramble through with goals from Jaciah Jumilis in the 14th minute, Sihaya Ajad in the (19th), Norsuriani Mazli (68th) and Usliza Usman (81st).

“This is the best that we can muster. Until we get serious in Malaysia about women football, we can’t go anywhere,” said Malaysian head coach Jacob Joseph.

Added Timor Leste head coach Lee Min Young: “Most of the players are Futsal players, so it has been difficult to change their mindset. We need to be more serious towards development.”

 

 AFF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

RESULTS – Group A

Timor Leste 0 Malaysia 4

Thailand 4 U20 Australia 2

 

FIXTURES – All matches at Jaka Baring Stadium

9 July 2018 – Group B

1600: Indonesia vs Philippines

1900: Vietnam vs Myanmar

 

Table Standings

 

Group A P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Thailand 4 4 0 0 31 2 29 12
Australia U-20 4 3 0 1 30 4 26 9
Malaysia 4 2 0 2 8 15 -7 6
Cambodia 4 1 0 3 12 27 -15 3
Timor-Leste 4 0 0 4 0 33 -33 0

 

Group B P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Vietnam 3 3 0 0 21 0 21 9
Myanmar 3 3 0 0 17 1 16 9
Philippines 3 1 0 2 3 9 -6 3
Indonesia 3 0 1 2 1 12 -11 1
Singapore 4 0 1 3 0 20 -20 1
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