Top 10 group stage super strikes

30-Nov-2016

Top 10 group stage super strikes

30-Nov-2016

Football fans in Southeast Asia were treated to a feast of great goals in the group stages of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup this month as we saw the ball hit the back of the net 32 times in just six games.

Thailand and Indonesia contributed six goals each in Group A but while Vietnam and Myanmar both scored one less in Group B, the strikes were shared much more evenly in Yangon with 17 goals between four teams.

So which was your favourite? affsuzukicup.com counts down the top 10 goals from the group stages. Feel free to let us know how you'd rank them on Facebook or Twitter!

10. Zaw Min Tun, Cambodia 1-2 Myanmar (FT: 1-3)

Nanda Kyaw's corner kick delivery into the box was weighted perfectly but it still needed someone to convert it at the other end.

Up stepped Myanmar defender Zaw Min Tun, who soared high above his markers to direct a powerful header into the net for his second goal of the game.

Degree of difficulty: The timing of the jump is crucial, but it is Zaw Min Tun's hang time in the air that is truly impressive. He comes in from the defender's blind side and gives the goalkeeper no chance of saving his bullet header. 6/10

Impact: When you've just fought back from a goal down, the next goal in the match is crucial and could swing the momentum of the game either way. Zaw Min Tun did well to score the equaliser for his team before the break but this go-ahead goal minutes after was priceless. 8/10

***

9. Chan Vathanaka, Malaysia 1-2 Cambodia (FT: 3-2)

It's hard to believe that Cambodian captain Chan Vathanaka is just 22-years-old.

The Kouprey lynchpin was at the centre of everything Cambodia created against Malaysia, scoring both their goals in a see-saw match that ended with a heartbreaking Malaysian winner after Cambodia had twice gone ahead.

It might be scant consolation but Vathanaka's second goal was definitely the pick of the bunch as he brought down a high ball, cut inside two markers in the box before firing in a shot that flew past a third defender and beat Khairul Fahmi all ends up.

Degree of difficulty: Three defenders and a goalkeeper? No problem, 2-1. 7/10

***

8. David Htan, Myanmar 1-0 Malaysia (FT: 1-0)

It's not the first goal David Htan has scored for Myanmar, but it is definitely his most important.

The midfielder popped up with a fine winner a minute before the end of regulation time, dribbling from the right corner of the box to the penalty arc before unleashing a low skidding shot that evaded Khairul Fahmi's reach and nestled into the near bottom corner.

That was the goal that secured Myanmar's qualification to the semi-finals for the first time since 2004 as the home fans celebrated with unadulterated glee.

Calmness under pressure: With time running out and the match on the line, the 26-year-old didn't lose his head and go for the low-percentage shot. Instead he considered his options, took on two defenders and then found the target with an unerring shot. 7/10

Impact: Do you even have to ask? 8/10

***

7. Andik Vermansyah, Singapore 1-1 Indonesia (FT: 1-2)

The third and final round of matches in Group A was quite the spectacle - a nail-biting event for fans of Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.

While Thailand had run away with top spot, second place was up for grabs and all three teams took turns filling it throughout the night.

Singapore had taken the lead through Khairul Amri, but Andik Vermansyah's second-half equaliser rocked the Lions and put the tie back on a knife's edge.

Running full tilt into the box, the winger kept his eye on the ball as the cross came in and smashed a first-time volley over the goalkeeper's head.

Try and try again: You have to give points to the player who keeps shooting, even when the majority of his previous efforts have gone astray. The Singapore defence failed to reign Andik in and he finally found the target with Indonesia's vital equaliser. 7/10

Degree of difficulty: The goal looked deceptively simple, but try it on the training field and odds are you'll send the ball into orbit nine out of ten times. Andik's technique was exquisite for this goal and Indonesia were back in the game.  8/10

***

6. Syazwan Zainon, Malaysia 1-1 Cambodia(FT: 3-2)

Malaysia showed plenty of fight by coming back twice against Cambodia in their opening game of Group B and then scoring the winning goal to take all three points.

The first of these goals was scored by winger Syazwan Zainon, whose ability to turn on a dime with the ball at his feet completely befuddled his marker before he stroked the ball into the far corner of the net from a narrow angle.

Nimble feet: Syazwan spotted his teammates' intentions from a long way out, getting the jump of his marker with his dash down the left flank. The Kedah FA winger then killed the ball with one deft touch and as Chhin Chhoeun put a foot out to block any potential cross, cut inside behind to leave the Cambodian scrambling once again.  8/10

Impact: Cambodia had taken an 8th minute opener, so Syazwan's goal eight minutes before the half revitalised his team and gave them new purpose. Not that it stopped them conceding a second goal after the break of course, but at least they knew it was simply a matter of breaking down the Cambodian defence once again. 8/10

***

5. Teerasil Dangda, Thailand 3-2 Indonesia (FT: 1-3)

Thailand were heavy favourites going into the tournament, and for 50 minutes of their opening encounter against Indonesia, they looked the part after taking a two-goal lead thanks to Peerapat Notchaiya and Teerasil Dangda.

Then Indonesia came roaring back, as two defensive lapses in the Thai defence allowed the Garudas to score two goals in three second half minutes.

The War Elephants were shaken and it took them awhile to regroup but top teams have top players and Teerasil showed why he is one of the best strikers in Southeast Asia by putting them ahead again in the 79th minute with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Degree of difficulty: Watch the goal a few times and you'll still rub your eyes in disbelief at the amount of power Teerasil generates with minimal backlift. The almost nonchalant stride to the ball before hitting it points to a striker at the top of his game. 8/10

Impact: A hattrick in this 4-2 game meant Teerasil got the well-deserved match ball but this goal was as important to the outcome as it was pretty. The goal steadied the ship at a time when Indonesia were threatening to cause an upset. 9/10

***

4. Aung Thu, Myanmar 1-1 Vietnam (FT: 1-2)

Myanmar's man of the moment Aung Thu scored this screamer in the match against Vietnam in their opening game.

While the scores stayed level for only another seven minutes, this spectacular strike has stayed on in our memories.

Maybe ten years later, we will look back on this moment when a real talent first announced himself to the watching public.

Degree of difficulty: It all looks so easy but Aung Thu still had plenty to do after receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty arc. With defenders closing on him from every side, the young striker turned and unleashed a venomous shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance of saving it at all. 8/10

3. Khairul Amri, Singapore 1-0 Indonesia (FT: 1-2)

This was Singapore's only goal of the tournament, but what a strike it was!

The build up to the goal was pretty textbook, as a trademark long throw from Madhu Mohana (Singapore's version of Rory Delap) was knocked down to the far post by the lanky Safuwan Baharudin.

But that's where Khairul Amri conjured something magical out of thin air as he turned back the years with an acrobatic scissor kick to open the scoring.

For a brief moment, Singapore were on cloud nine as a place in the semi-finals beckoned.

Degree of difficulty: Amri turned 31 this year. The man's still got it. 10/10

Old timer: This is Amri's sixth ASEAN Football Championship tournament appearance and he's scored in five of them. This goal against Indonesia also means he has reached double figures with 10 goals in the competition, behind only nine other players. Class is permanent, they say. 8/10

***

2. Phil Younghusband, Indonesia 2-2 Philippines (FT: 2-2)

Philippines were staring down the barrel of defeat when Phil Younghusband was fouled 20 yards from goal.

The Azkals captain picked himself up, sighted on goal and promptly lofted his free kick into the top corner.

That's arguably the best set piece we've seen all group stage.

Try and try again: Younghusband had put an earlier effort over the bar from a similar range, so with eight minutes to go and the pressure ramping up, he elected to take another one again and duly finished the job. A real captain's knock. 9/10

Accuracy: Goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga saw it coming from a way off, stepping to his right and leaping to make the save but he could not get near such a precisely struck ball. 9/10

***

1. Chreng Polroth, Vietnam 2-1 Cambodia (FT: 2-1)

Cambodia's AFF Suzuki Cup campaign may have come to an end, but Chreng Polroth can look back on his goal with pride.

There seemed little danger when the midfielder received a slide-rule pass 35 yards out from goal and with the Vietnamese defenders back in numbers, but the the 19-year-old took one touch and then buried a shot into the top corner.

Very impressive from the teenager, whose previous international goal had come only in September.

Degree of difficulty: To score from so far out takes no small amount of skill and a healthy serving of confidence. Chreng Polroth showed plenty of both qualities with a strike that will live long on AFF Suzuki Cup highlight reels. 10/10

More to come: Given his tender age, the midfielder will likely be back for future editions of the competition. We can't wait to see more of the same! 10/10

RELATED NEWS
AFF Suzuki Cup Sponsors