AFF Suzuki Cup Group A: Thailand, Philippines record big victories on matchday 3
Both teams produced commanding performances as the race for the semi-finals heat up.
Philippines and Thailand capped off dominant displays as they recorded triumphant victories on Matchday 3 in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Philippines beat a much-changed Timor Leste 7-0 in the early kick off in front of 480 fans at the National Stadium, with goals coming from seven different players.
The Azkals dominated the game from start to finish as the score line suggested, with goals from Martin Steuben, Amin Nazari, Angel Guidado, Patrick Reichelt, Jesper Nyholm and Beinvenudo Maranon giving Philippines a 6-0 cushion in the first half.
With the three points in the bag, Philippines took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half but still added a seventh goal to complete the demolition job when Kevin Ingreso swept home from inside the penalty box in the 78th minute.
The late kick off saw Thailand face off against Myanmar.
Thailand coach Mano Polking made several changes to their last game, with Japan-based duo Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan, Leicester City midfielder Thanawat Suengchitthawon and forward Supachai Chaided handed their first starts of the tournament.
The War Elephants opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when veteran striker Teerasil Dangda fired a low drive from just outside the penalty box past the Burmese keeper. He doubled his tally from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after defender Manuel Tom Bihr was fouled in the box.
The third Thai goal came in the 78th minute when substitute Worachit Kanitsribumphen swept home a cross from the right flank first time.
Supachok Sarachat then wrapped up the victory in injury time with a powerful shot from inside the box.
The Thai victory means they go top of Group A with six points, above Singapore thanks to their superior goal difference. The Philippines finished the day in third place with three points, while Myanmar and Timor Leste finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Thailand’s next match is against the Philippines on Dec 14 while Singapore plays Timor Leste in the later kick off.
A defeat for the Philippines and a Singapore victory will mean that both Thailand and Singapore will finish in the top two spots in Group A and move on to the knockout rounds.