Singapore to meet Indonesia; Thais face Malaysia, Vietnam

Hosts Singapore’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a boost on Wednesday after they were handed a fairly favourable draw.

Seeded as hosts for the Under-23 tournament, the Lions were drawn in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines.

With only the top two progressing to the last four, it looks like Singapore will be battling for qualification with the Indonesians and Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Cambodia will be confident in their prospects having recorded a 2-1 win over Singapore just last month, while Philippines have taken huge strides in recent years and are now considered a legitimate threat in the region.

But it appears most of the drama will come in Group B after defending champions Thailand were pitted against 2011 winners Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.

Under Kiatisuk Senamuang, who also guided the senior team to victory at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Thais are favourites to finish top with Malaysia and Vietnam expected to battle it out for the second qualifying berth.

However, with the likes of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Ketsada Souksavanh to call upon, Laos could just spring an upset or two along the way.

2015 Southeast Asian Games Draw

Group A: Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines

Group B: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste

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Singapore U-23s handed shock defeat by Cambodia U-22s

Singapore Under-23’s preparations for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a real blow on Thursday after they were beaten 3-1 by Cambodia Under-22.

The Lions got off to a dream start at the Jalan Besar Stadium when they took the lead after just two minutes; Sahil Suhaimi beating the offside trap to latch onto Shahfiq Ghani’s visionary over-the-top pass before emphatically firing into the back of the net.

However, the visitors shot themselves in the foot a minute before the break when Shakir Hamzah was too casual inside his own area and lost possession to Phanny Y Ratha, who made no mistake in firing past an exposed Syazwan Buhari.

Things got from bad to worse for the hosts in the 67th minute when they conceded a penalty – and were also reduced to ten men – after Shakir Hamzah committed a last-man foul Prak Mony Udom, who picked himself up and slotted the resultant spot-kick into the bottom corner.

And in the 72nd minute, the Royal Khmers wrapped up the win when Samoeun Pidor broke free inside the box after an incisive pass from Mony Udom, before coolly finishing past Syazwan.

To add insult to injury, Singapore finished the game with nine men when Sheikh Abdul Hadi was also shown a straight red for an off-the-ball altercation with an opponent.

Speaking after the game, Singapore U-23 boss Aide Iskandar admitted Thursday’s defeat was disappointing but called for patience ahead of the upcoming SEA Games.

“We can have no excuses,” he said. “Today’s [Thursday’s] performance was not good enough.

“The penalty was the turning point at 1-1, but we have to accept it. It was never going to be easy going a goal down and a man down from that penalty, but give credit to Cambodia – they came with a game plan and it worked.

“For me, the fans have every right to shout whatever they want to, but they have to realise this is not the real tournament yet.

“I have to apologise to the fans who came down and were disappointed. But rest assured we are working hard to make sure we have a good SEA Games.

“I’m still committed and I am confident the boys will put on a good showing.”

Meanwhile, Cambodia boss Lee Tae-hoon was pleased with his charges even though he feels they were a bit fortunate on the night.

“I told my players to just play with confidence,” the South Korean said. “They worked very hard and they followed instructions well.

“I think we got the three goals because Singapore made mistakes so I think we got quite lucky.”

Singapore U-23: Syazwan Buhari, Fadli Kamis (Al-Qaasimy Rahman 60’), Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Shakir Hamzah, Farhan Rahmat (Safirul Sulaiman 60’), M. Anumanthan (Pravin Gunasegaran 90’), Amirul Adli (Shamil Sharif 53’, Taufiq Muqminin 78’), Adam Swandi (Shameer Aziq 51’), Shahfiq Ghani (Amy Recha 68’), Iqbal Hussain (Christopher van Huizen 53’), Sahil Suhaimi (Irfan Fandi 51’).

Cambodia U-22: Prak Mony Phirun, San Thideth (Ngoy Srin 31’), Nub Tola (Chheng Meng 73’), Nen Sothearoth (Ly Arifin 84’), Prak Chanratana, Moung Makara (Samoeun Pidor 61’), Hoy Phallin (Soeuy Visal 54’), Ol Ravy (Sary Matnorotin 25’, Op Kamol 87’), Rous Samoeun, Phanny Y Ratha (Tit Dina 73’), Chan Vathanaka (Prak Mony Udom 61’).

Myanmar pay the penalty as Indonesia join Thailand in semis

Hosts Myanmar were eliminated from the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Indonesia on Monday evening.

Entering the game three points ahead of their opponents, Myanmar only needed to avoid defeat to guarantee their place in the last four.

However, they fell behind in the 36th minute when Alfin Tuasalamony fired home a penalty, after he had been brought down inside the area by opposition goalkeeper Pyae Phyo Aung.

Merah Putih could have doubled their lead two minutes before the break when Fandi Eko Utomo burst into the box and send a rasping drive just over the bar.

Eager to add more firepower to an attack that was already missing the injured Kyi Lin, Myanmar coach Park Sung-hwa brought on Kyaw Ko Ko at the start of the second half and his presence did give the Indonesians more to worry about.

Nonetheless, their best chance came ten minutes from time when a loose ball fell to Kaung Sithu on the edge of the box, but he was only able to send a cracking half-volley narrowly wide of the top corner.

And with their hopes fast evaporating, Myanmar’s frustration boiled over in injury-time as they were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Ye Lin Aung.

As the final whistle blew, it was Merah Putih who were left celebrating as their opponents became the first hosts since Philippines in 2005 to fail in making the semi-finals.

The result also meant Thailand finished top of Group B following their 0-0 draw with Cambodia earlier in the day, and they will now meet Singapore in the semi-finals.

Monday’s 2013 SEA Games Group B Results

Thailand 0-0 Cambodia

Indonesia 1-0 Myanmar

Thailand edge closer to semis with Indonesia rout

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

Indonesia get off the mark; two in a row for Myanmar

Indonesia opened their 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games campaign on Monday afternoon with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Cambodia at the Thuwunna Stadium.

Merah Putih, who were not in action in Group B’s opening match day at the weekend, were expected to comfortably see off a Cambodia side that were beaten 3-0 by Myanmar on Saturday.

However, their opponents showed plenty of fight although Indonesia ultimately claimed all three points thanks to Yandi Sofyan Munawar’s 53rd-minute winner.

In the day’s late kickoff, hosts Myanmar moved top of the group by making it two wins from two after beating Timor Leste 3-1.

Captain Kyaw Zayar Win fired the White Angels ahead after 13 minutes when his lovely freekick had Ramos Manxances beaten all ends up, but the Timorese stunned the home crowd by equalising seven minutes before the break; Jairo Neto stabbing home on the rebound after his initial header had been saved by Pyae Phyo Aung.

But in the 72nd minute, Myanmar reclaimed the lead through a Kyaw Ko Ko penalty after Paulo Martins had committed a foul on Kyi Lin, who then wrapped up the win six minutes later with a fine individual effort.

The win was enough to keep the hosts top of Group B, while Thailand and Indonesia, who have both played only one game, remain joint-second with three points.

Monday’s 2013 SEA Games Group B Results

Cambodia 0-1 Indonesia

Myanmar 3-1 Timor Leste

Thailand, Myanmar open SEA Games campaign with victories

13-time champions Thailand opened their 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games campaign on Saturday with a win after beating Group B opponents Timor Leste 3-1 at the Thuwunna Stadium.

It took midfielder Thitipan Puangchan just two minutes to open the scoring for the War Elephants, before Police United midfielder Pokkhao Anan doubled their tally four minutes after the half-hour mark.

Artit Daosawang then pushed forward and added a third two minutes after the break to kill off the contest, although Timor Leste did manage to grab a consolation in the 72nd minute through a Jose Fonseca effort.

In Group B’s other match, hosts Myanmar also got off to a winning start after cruising to a 3-0 win over Cambodia.

Myanmar edged ahead in the 16th minute when Zaw Min Tun broke the deadlock, before star striker Kyaw Ko Ko added a second 11 minutes before the break.

Two minutes into the second half, Ko Ko netted his second of the evening to wrap up the three points for Park Seong-hwa’s men and get their gold medal bid off to the perfect start.

Saturday’s 2013 SEA Games Group B Results

Thailand 3-1 Timor Leste

Myanmar 3-0 Cambodia