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Football: Thailand overcomes spirited Timor Leste

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Thailand (in blue) top Group B for football after back to back victories in the competition. photo: SINGSOC, Steven Goh

Thailand recorded their second win at the 28th Southeast Asian Games football tournament against Timor-Leste on Monday with a score of 1-0.

Despite Thailand mounting pressure throughout the entire game, crucial saves from the Timor-Leste’s goalkeeper Ramos Maxanches had only allowed one goal to be conceded in the first half.

Rungrat Phumichantuk ballooned an open goal after Timor Leste’s goalkeeper deflected a free kick from Sarach Yooyen in the 41st minute. Phumichantuk quickly redeemed himself two minutes later, slotting in a goal supplied by Chanathip Songkrasin from the mid-way line.

Chananan Pombubpha, the four-goal hero from the previous match against Laos, failed to extend Thailand’s lead with his penalty shot was saved by Maxanches in the 54th minute.

Timor-Leste Coach Fabio Da Silva had done enough research to know that Pombubpha will be the penalty taker, and which side he will strike. “I know my opponents better than my team,” said Da Silva. “I know it (the penalty) will be on the right side. I advised my goalkeeper.”

Da Silva was happy with his team’s performance despite the lost, but he was not too happy about how the fixtures have not been in their favour. He remarked that Thailand and Malaysia had two days to rest, while Timor-Leste only had one.

Thailand Coach Choketawee Promrut noted that it was dangerous to only lead 1-0, and he acknowledges the strong set piece capabilities from Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste gets one day of rest before taking on Brunei on Wednesday, the other team with zero points after two games. Thailand, now leading Group B with six points, faces Malaysia on Thursday.

In the next fixture, Bishan Stadium stages the clash between Vietnam and Malaysia on Tuesday, June 2.

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