Thailand are through to the knockout round at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon after claiming a 3-0 win over Timor-Leste on Thursday evening.
The War Elephants took the lead at the Incheon Football Stadium in the 22nd minute when Pakorn Prempak was left in acres of space inside the box but unselfishly cut the ball back to Chanathip Songkrasin, who lashed a powerful volley into the bottom corner.
A minute before the hour mark, it was 2-0 and this time Chanathip turned provider after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area and squaring it to Kroekrit Thaweekarn, paving the way for the midfielder to drill an unstoppable effort past Ramos Maxanche.
And with 11 minutes remaining ,they went on to wrap up the three points after Pinyo Inpinit forced his way past the last defender to latch onto a neat flick by Chanathip, before advancing on goal and coolly finishing.
Although there is still one game remaining in the group stage, Thailand are now guaranteed a top-two finish in Group E along with fellow Southeast Asian side Indonesia, who booked their spot in the last 16 with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Maldives.
Ramdhani Lestaluhu got Merah Putih on their way after 12 minutes when he beat the offside trap to break free just outside the six-yard box and blasted the opener into the roof of the net.
The Indonesians then doubled their lead four minutes into the second half when Fandi Eko raced down the right and played a cross right at the feet of Ferdinand Sinaga, who eased inside a defender before firing past Mohamed Jazlaan.
The contest was effectively over eight minutes when Bayu Gatra Sanggiawan added a third for his side; exchanging a lovely one-two with Sinaga inside the area before sending a looping shot into the back of the net.
But just for good measure, Indonesia added a fourth eight minutes from time when Sinaga grabbed his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot, after Alfin Tuasalamony had been shoved over by Samdhooh Mohamed inside the box.
Although they were not in action on Thursday, Vietnam are also through to the knockout round after Kyrgyzstan’s 1-1 draw with Iran secured them a top-two spot in Group H.
Having beaten the Iranians 4-1 in their opening game, Vietnam are safely through to the last 16 and only need to avoid defeat against Kyrgyzstan on Monday to finish top.
Thursday’s 2014 Asian Games Results
Hong Kong 2-1 Afghanistan
Uzbekistan 3-0 Bangladesh
Maldives 0-4 Indonesia
Thailand 3-0 Timor-Leste
Pakistan 0-2 Korea DPR
Jordan 1-0 United Arab Emirates
Kyrgyzstan 1-1 Iran