Thailand moved one step closer to the semi-finals of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games after claiming an impressive 4-1 win over Indonesia at the Thuwunna Stadium on Thursday.
Having had a bye in the last Group B match-day on Monday, the War Elephants returned to action against an Indonesia side that toiled to a 1-0 win over Cambodia in their campaign opener.
And it took Kiatisuk Senamuang’s charges just two minutes to open the scoring when Pokkhao Anan netted his second goal of the tournament when he drilled a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner, before Buriram United striker Adisak Kraisorn made it 2-0 in the 20th minute when he raced through and finished after the opposition defence failed to deal with Kawin Thamsatchanan’s long ball.
Thailand were then awarded a controversial penalty six minutes after the break when Andri Ibo hauled down Adisak and the referee pointed to the spot even though contact appeared to have been made outside the box; Pravinwat Boonyong stepping up and making no mistake in firing home.
And nine minutes from time, it became a real rout when Thitipan Puangchan added a fourth when he latched onto Chanathip Songkrasin’s neat pass and sent an emphatic 20-yard drive into the top corner.
Nonetheless, Indonesia did manage to grab a consolation in the first minute of injury-time through a ferocious Andri Ibo strike, but they now have plenty to do if they are to pip the Thais and Myanmar to a place in the last four.
In Thursday’s other game, Timor Leste picked up their first points of the campaign after beating bottom side Cambodia 3-2.
It was Cambodia who had taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Sos Suhana scored on the rebound after Phuong Soksana’s initial shot had been saved, but the Timorese equalised five minutes later when Jose Carlos da Fonseca netted with a close-range finish.
Timor Leste then went ahead three minutes before the break after Pedro Henrique raced through down the left and coolly fired inside the near post, only for Prak Mony Udom to pull the opposition level in the 70th minute.
But two minutes from time, Emerson Alcantara’s charges claimed all three points thanks to Diogo Santos Rangel, who lined up a freekick on the edge of the box and curled a lovely effort past the wall and into the back of the net.
Thursday’s 2013 SEA Games Group B Results
Indonesia 1-4 Thailand
Cambodia 2-3 Timor Leste