Sarach Yooyen struck the winning goal for Thailand in the Group B clash with Malaysia. Photo Credit: Eldridge Chang / SINGSOC
It was a tight match for Malaysia and Thailand at the Bishan Stadium on Thursday, June 4. Just before the final whistle was blown, Thailand managed to sneak in a goal against Malaysia, beating them 1-0.
The first half was a battle as both teams fought for possession. With the endless shots on target from both sides of the field, fans were kept at the edge of their seats. “They played well but they must be more confident and they must motivate one another to push on,” said one of the Malaysian fans.
More yellow cards were showed as the second half commenced. Sliding tackles got more reckless and shots got more deadly from both sides. Malaysian midfielder, Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim struckthe ball to the top right hand corner but was denied by the Thailand goalkeeper, Chanin Sae-ear. However, Thailand came back hard and Sarach Yooyen scored a stunner with a shot from outside the penalty box.
Despite being unhappy that the fixtures were not in their favor, Malaysian coach, Ong Kim Swee still kept his head up high. “It is not a blaming game, said Ong. “ We have to sit back and look at our program and Thailand is definitely on top of us at the moment.”
Although it was a narrow win, Thailand coach Choketawee Promrut was satisfied as it was an important match for the team to secure the 3-points. “Every team we play, we need the points and we have to give our all and not relax,” said Choketawee.
Thailand and Malaysia will face Brunei in their next games on Saturday and Monday respectively.
Nguyen Thanh Hien’s goal lifted Vietnam to the first position in Group B.
Photo Credit: Steven Goh / SINGSOC
Vietnam beat Laos 1-0 victory at the Bishan Stadium later this evening. Vietnam had scored 11 goals in their last two games.
Despite dominating in possession, the attacking-minded Vietnamese could not find a goal in the first half. “Vietnam struggled to get a final chance in the box,” said Laos Coach David Booth. “We defended very well.”
Laos made little presence in Vietnam’s territory on the pitch. They managed to hit two long shots that went wide.
Vietnam continued to pile on the pressure in the second half, with numerous opportunities created from effective long balls and possession play.
The breakthrough for Vietnam came in the 65th minute when Bounthavy Sipasong’s tackle on Cong Phuong laid the ball for Nguyen Thanh Hien to strike a goal from outside the box. Thanh Hien came on as a substitute for the injured Nguyen Huu Dung in the 23rd minute.
Tran Phi Son blasted the ball after he found himself open from a turn on Sengdao Inthilath near the six yard box in the 67th minute. Moments later, Mac Hong Quan nearly lobbed Lao’s goalkeeper Vathana Keodouangdeth with a header.
Vietnam efforts to extend their lead all ended in naught. “I hoped for 2-0 and finish the game, but we couldn’t,” remarked Vietnam Coach Toshiya Miura.
By securing their third consecutive victory, Vietnam overtook Thailand by goal difference to be Group B’s leader. Vietnam faces Timor-Leste in their next game on Sunday.
One point from the next two games is all that Vietnam and Thailand need to qualify for the semi-finals.
Laos, having scored the same points with Timor-Leste and Malaysia, is fifth place in Group B. They will seek to rise in standings when they next meet Timor-Leste on Tuesday.
The next game in Bishan Stadium features Thailand versus Brunei on Saturday, June 6.
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This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.