Thailand edge favourites UAE; Philippines hold China

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Thailand put up their best performance yet on the fourth matchday of the second round qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup 2022 when they beat favourites United Arab Emirates (UAE) 2-1 in a Group G tie that was played at the Thammasat Stadium.

Akira Nishino’s men put up a much-improved display when compared to their 1-1 draw against Congo a few days earlier as the win at home pushed them to the top of Group G.

Veteran striker Teerasil Dangda nodded in the cross from midfielder Ekanit Panya in the 26th minute as the UAE then came back with an Ali Mabkhout’s header just before the break for both teams to be all even at 1-1.

Thailand continued to press their West Asian opponents into the second half and Bert van Marwijk’s men fell behind just six minutes after the restart with youngster Ekanit Panya slamming in the winner from the far post.

The win allowed Thailand to take top spot in Group G with two wins and one draw – ahead on goal difference over Vietnam, who blasted Indonesia 3-1 at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali.

Do Duy Manh opened the floodgates after 25 minutes when he stabbed home some hesitant Indonesia defending before Que Ngoc Hai then converted a 65th minute penalty to give Vietnam a 2-0 lead.

Nguyen Tien Linh then put Vietnam comfortably in front on 61st minute with a fine solo effort as Indonesia’s Irfan Bachdim then pulled in a late consolation goal six minutes to the end.

In the meantime at the Panaad Park and Football Stadium, the Philippines held Marcello Lippi’s China to a 0-0 draw in a Group A tie.

The one point allowed the Philippines to be on third in the standings behind Syria and China.

Australia were the biggest winners from ASEAN on the night when they blasted Chinese Taipei 7-1 at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung.

Adam Taggart (12th and 19th minute), Jackson Irvine (34th and 36th minute) and Harry Souttar (73rd and 88th minute) were all on target with a brace each as Jamie Maclaren then added another in the 84th minute for the comprehensive victory.

However, the match also saw Australia conceding their first goal of the qualifiers when Chen Yi-wei found the back of the net in the 21st minute.

After three matches played, Australia lead Group A with a perfect record.

Elsewhere, Singapore put up a brave fight before losing 3-1 to Uzbekistan in Group D at the National Stadium as Cambodia fell to a 4-0 loss at home at the National Olympic Stadium to Iraq in Group C.

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