Thailand continued to build towards the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup with an impressive 3-0 friendly win over Philippines in Nakhon Ratchasima on Sunday.
The War Elephants opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Monkol Tossagri found space inside the box, and proceeded to meet a looping cross with a header that bouncedoff the turn before finding the back of the net.
Nine minutes after the break, they doubled their lead as Prakit Deeprom scored on the rebound, after Rob Gier – in a bid to clear Kirati Keawsombat’s cut-back – could only poke the ball back off his own bar.
And in the 74th minute, Thailand went on to seal the win when Kroekrit Thaweekarn fired home emphatically from inside the six-yard box, after the ball had fallen kindly into his path.
The Thais kick off their Suzuki Cup campaign on November 23 when they take on Group B hosts Singapore, and will have one final warm-up match five days before that when they play New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Philippines will be hoping they can get a win in next Friday’s friendly against Cambodia before heading to Vietnam in a bid to qualify from Group A.
Group A hosts Vietnam were also in action on Sunday as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Palestine at the My Dinh Stadium.
Following a goalless first half, Abdelhamid Abuhabib broke the deadlock for the visitors four minutes before the hour mark when he finished into an unguarded net, after the opposition goalkeeper had raced off his line and was left in no man’s land.
Hesham Salhe then made it 2-0 in the 71st minute when he met a clearance header with a stunning 25-yard volley into the far corner, before Mahmoud Eid clinically fired home a left-footed shot 12 minutes later to add a third for Palestine.
To their credit, Vietnam manage to reduce the deficit a minute from time when Nguyen Van Quyet embarked on a fine run down the left and cut inside on his left foot, before finding the bottom corner with a low drive.
Still, it proved to be a mere consolation as they ultimately slumped to defeat, and Toshiya Miura will now be hoping his charges can get back to winning ways against Malaysia on November 16.
Sunday’s International Friendly Results
Thailand 3-0 Philippines
Vietnam 1-3 Palestine