Thailand staged a fabulous comeback to beat Singapore 3-1 in their opening game of Group C of the AFF Under-23 Championship 2022 here at the Prince Stadium.
“We started nervously as for most of the players, it was their first international game in more than two years. But the players did very well to score just before the break and then the two goals in the second half. We got the three points but there were certain areas we need to work on,” said Thailand head coach Salvador Garcia.
It was Thailand who applied the early pressure with the crosses coming in thick and fast from either flank as the Singapore defence stood firm.
But it was to be the young Singapore side who went ahead in the 16th minute when striker Ilhan Fandi headed home the floater from deep.
However, the Thais did not lose focus where after some near misses from Kakana Khamyok and Kroekhon Arbram, they finally broke through just before the break when Teerasak Poeiphimai slammed in the lead off the cross from Arbram.
With the score tied into the second half, Thailand then took the lead in the 57th minute with Thanawat Saipetch the provider and Niphitphon Wongpanyathe the final touch.
The Thais then made sure of the full points with Poeiphimai picking up the long cross in the 62nd minute to beat Singapore custodian Ridhwan Fikri Aban for the third time on the night.
“We had some issues before the game but we are not using that as an excuse. I am proud of the players as they fought hard on the night,” added Singapore head coach Mohamad Nazri Aziz.
AFF U23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2022
GROUP B – PRINCE STADIUM
16 February 2022
Thailand 3-1 Singapore
GROUP A – Morodok Techo National Stadium
17 February 2022
1600hrs: Brunei vs Timor Leste
1900hrs: Philippines vs Cambodia
Pictures Courtesy @Sportfive