As expected, the fight in Group B will be close indeed. After two matches in the group, the passage to the semi-finals is still very much with all four teams having the mathematical chance of making into the next round.

Following from yesterday’s last minute win over Sanatech Khanh Hoa of Vietnam, Bangkok BTS from Thailand were held to a pulsating 4-4 draw by home team SKN FC from Indonesia.

SKN FC have now raked up two points from two matches while for Sanatech, their exhilarating 7-3 win over Malaysia’s Melaka United today gave them their first three points as the latter now seem likely to make the early flight home.

Melaka have just one point to their name where now they will have to beat Bangkok BTS tomorrow to have any real chance to make the semi-finals – dependent on the result from the Sanatech-SKN tie.

In the final game of the evening, Melaka United were left red-faced when Sanatech totally outplayed them in the first half – leading 6-1 at the half.

Nguyen Phuc started the mauling with the first goal of the game in the second minute before Nguyen Anh Quy added the second goal a minute later.

From then on, they never looked back as they added four more goals before the break off Nguyen Phuc (6th minute), Khong Dinh Hung (10th and 19th minute) and Tran Tuyen (20th) as Melaka replied through Saiful Nizam Mohd Ali in the 11th minute.

Melaka tried hard to get back into the game and while they managed to add to the scoreline just a minute after the restart off an own goal from Dinh Hung, there really was no danger of Sanatech losing the points.

They added the seventh goal through Mai Thant Dat while Melaka got their third goal of the game off Muhammad Azri Rahman right at the end.

In the meantime, the SKN-Bangkok BTS match was every bit as exciting as had been anticipated.

And SKN FC – after being held to a draw by Malaysia’s Melaka United yesterday – came out with all guns blazing although it was to be Bangkok BTS who grabbed the lead with Peerapol Satsue scoring from a quick counter.

A red card barely a minute later on Warut Wangsama-Aeo put BTS under intense pressure.

And while they managed to fend off the SKN onslaught with a man down, they could not prevent the home team from scoring the equaliser in the fourth minute when lynchpin Said Bouzambou set up Jeni Firmansyah to score.

A minute later, the indomitable Khalid El Hattach gave SKN the lead for the first time in the game.

The match became more and more intense soon after and while BTS managed to put both teams on level terms in the 12th minute through Teedanai Yakhiaw, SKN were not about to give up their advantage at the half with Khalid blasting in the 15th minute for a 3-2 lead.

BTS came out stronger after the break and while Muhammad Osamanmusa was heavily clamped, it did allow Nawin Rattawongswas to shine with his first goal of the game in the 27th minute.

Fariza Yodhanata restored SKN’s advantage two minutes later but Nawin would have the last say when he grabbed the all-important goal two minutes to the end.

“Two points from two matches have made it very hard for us. We have to look at the other games to see if we can make the cut to the next round,” said SKN head coach Deny Handoyo.

“The team have some good players but I thought that their imports were not match fit. They tire easily,” said BTS head coach Suchin Eamchalad.

“Our next match (against Melaka United) will be interesting as both teams have several national players.”





Sanatech Khanh Hoa (VIETNAM) 7 Melaka United (Malaysia) 3

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