AFF U16: Thanarin’s lone goal puts Thailand in final

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A single, solitary strike from Thanarin Thumsen early in the second half was enough to put Thailand in the final of the AFF Under-16 Championship 2018 following their 1-0 win over Myanmar in the first semi-final that was played this afternoon at the Delta Sidoarjo Stadium.

In the match that was keenly contested with both teams rarely taking much chances, the game was deadlocked in the first half before Thanarin struck home from close for the win.

“The match was very close as we had expected but the players played to the philosophy which has been set. We will go back to analyse the game and see how we can do better for the final,” said Thailand head coach Thongchai Rungreangleas.

With a place in the final at stake, both teams were not risking much even though they opted to put their best players in.

And while they grabbed the early possession, the Thais were slow in the build up as Myanmar played it defensive in the first half with La Min Htwe the lone striker upfront.

In the 19th minute, Sitthinan Rungrueang’s attempt went over while sometime later, a shot from Thanakrit Laorkai was saved by Myanmar keeper Nay Lin Htet.

But it was Myanmar who finished the first half with the closest to breaking the deadlock when Yan Kyaw Soe’s left footer came off the Thai crossbar.

Thailand continued much in the same vein as they had done in the first but with Myanmar still settling down, Thanarin broke down the right before unleashing a stiff grounder for the lead.

The game went into higher gear after that as Thailand maintained their defensive position as Myanmar looked for the equaliser.

But it was to be a night of near misses for Myanmar as Aung Ko Oo missed from close while Pyae Phyo Aung and also Min Htwe failing to do any better.

Several substitutions later and the Thais were still in control as they then wrapped up their place in the final.

“We tried hard and we came close but in football, you need luck,” said Myanmar head coach Nyi Nyi Latt.

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