Thailand strike late to secure semi final berth
Thailand vs Singapore
Final Score: Thailand 1-0 Singapore (HT: 0-0)
Philippine Sports Stadium, Bulacan
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
2016 AFF SUZUKI CUP
Thailand snatched a late goal to defeat Singapore 1-0 in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup to ensure they will make it through to the semi finals.
The War Elephants dominated the game in possession and territory but it was a game of few chances with Singapore packing their defense with a thick red line.
Sarawut Masuk, who had come on as a substitute, headed in with a minute to go of normal time to sink the Singaporeans, who looked to have secured a hard fought draw.
Moments before the goal Singapore had a couple of chances to score completely against the run of play.
89’ (1-0) Substitute Sarawut Masuk broke the deadlock in the dying minutes when he latched on to a beautiful cross from Theerathon Bunmanthan on the right. The Thai number 14 rose well and flicked the ball on with his head neatly into the back of the net.
Amri Opener -
Two minutes into the game and Singapore striker Khairul Amri fired in the first shot on goal from the edge of the box straight at the Thai shot stopper Kawin Thamsatchanan. It proved to be one of the few shots on target in the first half.
Chanathip on the prowl -
In the 11th minute Chanathip Songkrasin put a tidy ball through to Siroch Chatthong in the box and he attempts a sneaky side footed shot but Hassan Sunny comfortably handles.
Slick turn by Amri -
Against the run of play just after the half hour mark Khairul Amri turned and beat the Thai defence and looked to be through onto goal before a Thai defender just managed to clear the ball before the Singaporean got a shot on goal.
How did Teerasil miss that? -
With five minutes to go before halftime Teerasil Dangda has the best chance of the game so far. Chanathip Songkrasin, on the left, found him in space in the middle of the box but Teerasil, normally deadly from close range, uncharacteristically heads the ball wide despite facing an open goal.
Out of the blue -
Totally against the run of play in the 62nd minute, Khairul Amril made a brilliant pass to Juma'at Jantan who just has the keeper to beat in the box but can’t connect and misses the target. That was arguably the best chance of the match.
Messi J magic -
Three minutes after Singapore miss a great chance Chanathip Songkrasin is spurred into action and after skillful work on the right on the box he powered in a shot on goal that Hassan Sunny makes a fine save off.
Khairul in gear -
Khairul Amri nearly snatched a goal with seven minutes to go. The always dangerous striker moved quick to deceive the Thai defense and from close range got a shot in at the near post which Kawin Thamsatchanan did well to deal with.
Post match quotes:
Kiatisuk Senamuang - Thai coach
"Not an easy game, they were defensively very sound. But we changed from a back four to back three, and our players worked hard, that's why we got the
good result. We have to continue to work hard in the next game because it won't be easy as well.
Before the game, we knew they were very good defensively - we saw that in their World Cup qualifying game against Japan. But today, we played well, our
players were positionally good and we controlled the game, although it wasn't easy to score.
Today, we wanted to use Chanathip as a second striker because he's good technically and we knew it wasn't going to be easy to breach Singapore's defence.
So we were hoping that Chanathip could make a difference in that role.
We're focused on getting three points in every game. Yes, we're already in the semi-finals, but we'll still give our 100% in the next match.
Yes, we want our players to be able to play with any tactics or formation.
It doesn't matter which team we'll face in the next round, we know it'll be tough.
Of course I believed even up to the 89th minute that we would win. Coaches need to believe until the very last minute."
V. Sundramoorthy - Singapore coach
"We almost got an important point for us to progress to the next game to see where we stand. We were just minutes away, but that's football. We need to
prepare ourselves for Indonesia, because we still have a chance.
(Will you change your tactic - become more offensive - for the next match?) You come to the match and you will see.
We should have scored with the breaks if we had taken the right shots. Juma'at had a great chance, Izzdin, Faris and Shakir also got into great positions
and it could have been a different game had we scored. But I'm proud of the boys. They got stuck in and played to the game plan. We need to move on,
we can't change anything now.
If we have a chance to qualify - if we beat Indonesia - let's see how the game between Philippines and Indonesia ends.
I will do the same thing if given another chance. We were one minute 30 seconds away from snatching a draw against Thailand, and you can check when's the
last time we drew with them.
It's best if Indonesia and Philippines play out a good result that will give us a better chance of getting to the semis."