Thailand affirmed their position as the favourites here following a convincing 4-1 win over the Philippines in a AFF Under-19 Championship Group A match at the National Sports Complex Stadium this afternoon. It was Thailand’s second victory after their opening win over hosts Laos two days ago.
Thailand, who scored three goals in the fist half,have now taken over the standings with six points while Cambodia, who have a rest day today, are second with four. The Philippines, who defeated Brunei in their first match, are third with three points.
The Thais, who are just a win away from booking their place in the semis, did not wait long to get their scoring act going. In the ninth minute, skipper Worachit Kanitsribumphen latched on to a splitting pass from Jakkit Wachipirom and blasted the Thais ahead. A few minutes later, Anon Amornlertsak missed a sitter from close range.
A freekick awarded after Mantal Simplicio Saldavia brought down Anon in the 20th minute resulted in the second goal, which turned out to be a stunning shot from midfielder Sansern Limwatthana.
Suksan Mungpao added a third in the 30th minute while Worachit missed making it four when his shot came off the right post in the dying minutes.
Soon after the break, Thailand added a fourth through Suksan in the 51st minute. It was not surprising the Thais began to slow down after that. The Philippines had a great chance ten minutes from time but their striker Mathew Custodio, who had scored twice in their win over Brunei, skied his shot in front of goal but Mark Anthony Winhoffer made no mistake in the 81stminute when he converted a spot kick.
“We had a good 60 minutes, just like we did in the first game. We still have fitness issues with the players and hope to improve as the days go by. In the second half, we tested some new players. Overall, I was happy with the six points today. We must win the remaining games but more importantly, we need to find our rhythm,” said coach Anuruck Srikerd.
Philippines coach, Sionosa Padernal, meanwhile said the team’s plans went awry after nine minutes. “We had planned to hold them 0-0 in the first half and our defenders tried to block them but then they got through. The Thais are certainly a good side especially with No.10 (Sansern Limwatthana) and 27 (Anon Amornlertsak) controlling the midfield. We have three points and still in with a chance. We must win our remaining games, the one against Cambodia will be interesting.”
Thailand 4 Philippines 1
7.00pm: Laos vs Brunei
Aug 27 (Group B)
4.00pm: Vietnam vs Malaysia
7.00pm: Myanmar vs Timor Leste
Aug 28 (Group A)
4.00pm: Philippines vs Cambodia
7.00pm: Brunei vs Thailand
Aug 29 (Group B)
4.00pm: Malaysia vs Myanmar
7.00pm: Singapore vs Vietnam
Aug 30 (Group A)
4.00pm: Thailand vs Cambodia
7.00pm: Laos vs Philippines
Aug 31 (Group B)
4.00pm: Timor Leste vs Singapore
7.00pm: Myanmar vs Vietnam
Note: For full fixtures and details, please go to www.aseanfootball.org