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27th SEA Games: Thailand wins men's football gold

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Singapore captain Hariss Harun celebrates his first of two goals which helped Singapore to a 2-1 win in the bronze medal match against causeway rivals Malaysia. (Photo by Mookken Chandran/SSC).

SEA Games U-23 Football: Hariss double helps Singapore triumph 2-1 over Malaysia to claim bronze;
Thailand regains SEA Games football crown with 1-0 win over Indonesia.

Zeyar Thiri Stadium, Saturday, December 21 2013 – A brace from U-23 Captain #14 Harriss Harun was just enough to clinch the bronze medal for the Young Lions, in a hard tackling bronze medal playoff match played in Naypidaw, Myanmar.

Played under the sweltering afternoon sun, the Singaporeans started well and it took them only 13 minutes before Hariss hit home his first of the evening, after the Malaysian goalkeeper failed to clear his lines, following a corner.

The Harimau Muda barely had time to regroup, before the 23-year-old struck again, just moments later, thanks to some nifty footwork by #3 Sahil Suhaimi, down the flanks. Singapore could have gone 3-0 up, had Hafiz Sujad’s stinger not hit the cross bar in the 61st minute of play.

Frustration, after many minutes of trying without a goal, began to show in the Harimau Muda, as tackles became harder and tempers threatened to boil over. Malaysia’s #2 Kathiripillai Reuben Thayaparan was especially lucky to escape the referee’s book after he elbowed Singapore’s #3 Sahil Suhaimi, in the head.

Malaysia pulled one back in the 68th minute, with a goal from #9 Thamil Arasu Ambumaee, but it was too little and too late to deny Singapore the bronze. This marked the end of the Harimau Muda’s fine run, which began in 2009 when they first won the gold medal. They later won a back to back gold, during the last SEA Games in 2011 in Palembang.

Thailand (blue) were resolute in defence and clinical in attack, as the men joined the women’s team in winning gold for football. (photo by Mookken Chandran/SSC) 

In the battle for SEA football supremacy, Thailand beat Indonesia 1-0 to regain their SEA footballing crown. A clever finish by pacy forward #30 Sarawut Masuk, in the 21st minute of play, was enough to relegate the industrious Indonesians to second place – their second silver finish in a row. Thailand now hold the special distinction of being gold medallists for both men’s and women’s football at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.

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