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

Thailand lose out to Iraq in bronze medal match

Thailand’s brave run at the 2014 Asian Games came to an end without reward on Thursday after they were beaten 1-0 by Iraq in the bronze medal playoff.

Following a goalless first half at the Incheon Football Stadium, the breakthrough arrived for the Iraqis in the 63rd minute when Younis Mahmoud met an Ali Adnan corner with a powerful header past Kawin Thamsatchanan into the top corner.

But while they were ultimately unable to make history by bringing home their first-ever medal at the Games, the War Elephants can still leave Incheon with their heads held high after an impressive campaign which saw them dominate Indonesia, Maldives and Timor-Leste in the group stage, before claiming excellent victories over China and Jordan in the knockout round.

Meanwhile, Korea Republic won the gold medal after defeating fierce rivals DPR Korea 1-0 in the final at the Incheon Munhak Stadium.

It looked as though penalties would be needed to decide a winner, after neither team were able to find the breakthrough in regulation time, as well as most part of the 30 added minutes.

However, in the 121st minute, North Korean custodian Ri Myong-guk made a horrible error as he flapped at a corner and although Lee Yong-jae’s initial effort was blocked on the line, Rim Chang-woo followed up by smashing the rebound into the back of the net to win it for the hosts.

 Thursday’s 2014 Asian Games Results

Final

Korea Republic 1-0 DPR Korea

Bronze Medal Playoff

Thailand 0-1 Iraq

Thailand’s brave Asian Games run ended by South Koreans

Thailand’s impressive 2014 Asian Games campaign was finally brought to a halt in the semi-finals on Tuesday after they were beaten 2-0 by hosts Korea Republic.

The South Koreans took the lead at the Incheon Munhak Stadium four minutes before the break when Lee Jong-ho met Rim Chang-woo’s looping cross with a glancing header that went in off the post.

Right on the stroke of halftime, the hosts were awarded a penalty when Narubodin Weerawatnodom was adjudged to have brought down Lee Jae-sung inside the box, paving the way for Jang Hyun-soo to score from the spot and seal the win for his side.

Awaiting Korea Republic in the final are neighbours Korea DPR, who advanced from the last four after Jong Il-gwan’s 96th-minute strike handed them a 1-0 extra-time victory over Iraq.

Meanwhile, Thailand can finish the Games off by winning a bronze medal should they beat the Iraqis in Thursday’s third-place playoff.

Tuesday’s 2014 Asian Games Semi-final Results

Iraq 0-1 Korea DPR (after extra-time)

Korea Republic 2-0 Thailand

Thailand see off Jordan to march on at Asian Games

Thailand advanced to the last four at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon after recording a 2-0 win over Jordan in Sunday’s quarter-finals.

In a game at the Incheon Football Stadium which the Thais were always in control of, they took the lead seven minutes before halftime when Charyl Chappuis, Kroekrit Thaweekarn and Adisak Kraisorn link up well to create an opportunity for Chanathip Songkrasin, who clinically drilled a left-footed shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

And in the 71st minute, the War Elephants made sure of the victory when Kroekrit added a second by blasting the ball home at the third time of asking, after two initial efforts had been desperately blocked by the opposition defence.

Nonetheless, Thailand will have to produce another brilliant display if they are to continue their dream run at the Asian Games, after being pitted alongside hosts Korea Republic in the semi-finals.

The South Koreans booked their spot in the final four after claiming a 1-0 triumph over defending champions Japan, courtesy of Jang Hyun-soo’s 89th-minute winner from the spot.

Elsewhere, Iraq had a fairly comfortable evening after advancing from their last-eight tie against Saudi Arabia with a 3-0 win at the Goyang Stadium.

The Iraqis were firmly control of proceedings after Younis Mahmoud grabbed a double inside the opening half-hour, before an Abdullah Al Shamekh own-goal effectively ended the contest in the 49th minute.

Finally, Korea DPR round off the semi-finals line-up after Jong Il-gwan’s injury-time winner helped them defeat United Arab Emirates 1-0 at the Hwaseong Stadium.

 Sunday’s 2014 Asian Games Quarter-final Results

Korea DPR 1-0 United Arab Emirates

Thailand 2-0 Jordan

Saudi Arabia 0-3 Iraq

Korea Republic 1-0 Japan

Thailand down China to make Asian Games quarters

Thailand are through to the quarter-finals of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon after claiming a 2-0 win over ten-man China in the Round of 16 on Thursday evening.

Already heading into the game at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium high on confidence following three wins from three games in the group stage, the War Elephants’ cause was given a huge boost in the 34th minute when China had Tin Yang sent off for a last-man foul on Kroekrit Thaweekarn on the edge of the box.

And two minutes into the second half, Thailand duly capitalised on their numerical superiority after Adisak Kraisorn reacted to a clever flick-on by Charryl Chappuis and sent a stunning acrobatic volley into the far corner.

With 14 minutes remaining, Adisak grabbed his second of the game when he tapped home on the rebound after Fang Jingqi had parried Chanathip Songkrasin’s low drive into the path to seal his side’s progress into the last eight.

Next up for Kiatisuk Senamuang’s charges will be Jordan, who needed 120 minutes to claim a 2-0 extra-time triumph over Kyrgyzstan at the Incheon Munhak Stadium – courtesy of goals from Ahmad Al Essawi and Mahmoud Al Mardi.

Thursday’s other games saw Japan and Korea Republic set up an enticing last-eight meeting after they cruised to 4-0 and 3-0 victories over Palestine and Hong Kong respectively.

Thursday’s 2014 Asian Games Round of 16 Results

Jordan 2-0 Kyrgyzstan

Palestine 0-4 Japan

Korea Republic 3-0 Hong Kong

Thailand 2-0 China

Thailand crush Indonesia; Vietnam finish top at Games

Thailand finished their Group E campaign at the 2015 Asian Games in Incheon with a perfect record after claiming a dominant 6-0 win over Indonesia on Tuesday.

The War Elephants took the lead at the Incheon Football Stadium after seven minutes when Charyl Chappuis raced through down the right before unselfishly playing the ball back to Chananan Pombuppha, who made no mistake in slotting into the bottom corner.

Ten minutes later, it was 2-0 after Adisak Kraisorn received a cutback from Nurul Sriyankem and lashed an unstoppable first-time shot into the back of the net.

Despite their healthy advantage, the Thais showed no signs of taking their foot off the pedal and Chanathip Songkrasin was next to strike; reacting quickest after Kurnia Meiga Hermansyah had punched a cross clear to the edge of the box and sending a low volley past the floored custodian.

Chanathip then turned provider in the 75th minute when he found space inside the box and played a perfectly-weighted cross to the back post for Kroekrit Thaweekarn to sweep home, as Thailand effectively put the result beyond doubt.

Still, they continued to push forward relentlessly and added a fifth six minutes later after Pinyo Inpinit beat the offside trap and raced through before dispatching his shot into the bottom corner.

And in the 90th minute, the rout was completed as Adisak grabbed his second of the evening after making his way in behind the opposition defence and beating Meiga with another emphatic finish.

Thailand will now meet China in an enticing last-16 tie, while the Indonesians will face off against Group F winners Korea DPR.

In the group’s other clash, Timor-Leste’s tournament came to an end with no points to their names after they were defeated 3-2 by Maldives at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium.

Things were initially looking good for them when Diogo Rangel fired them in front from the spot in the 20th minute, only for Amdhan Ali to equalise for Maldives seven minutes later.

Timor-Leste edged ahead once more two minutes before the hour mark when Ricardo Sousa netted, only for their opponents to hit back again through a Moosa Yaamin strike in the 62nd minute.

11 minutes later, the Maldivians completed their comeback as Mohamed Irufaan struck the winner to hand them maximum points and inflict a third consecutive loss on O Sol Nascente.

Meanwhile, Vietnam also completed their group-stage campaign with an unblemished record after beating Kyrgyzstan 1-0 at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium to make it two wins in a row.

Following a goalless first half, the Vietnamese were handed the perfect opportunity to break the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty after Vu Minh Tuan’s right-wing cross had been handled by Azamat Baimatov inside the box.

And it was Minh Tuan who stepped up to the plate and clinically beat Valery Kashuba from 12 yards, which was ultimately enough for maximum points.

Next up for Vietnam in the Round of 16 are United Arab Emirates, who qualified after finishing behind Jordan as runners-up of Group G.

Tuesday’s 2014 Asian Games Results

Group B

Hong Kong 2-1 Bangladesh

Afghanistan 0-5 Uzbekistan

Group E

Maldives 3-2 Timor-Leste

Indonesia 0-6 Thailand

Group F

China 1-0 Pakistan

Group G

India 0-2 Jordan

Group H

Vietnam 1-0 Kyrgyzstan

Thailand, Indonesia advance to Asian Games Round of 16

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

Group B

Hong Kong 2-1 Afghanistan

Uzbekistan 3-0 Bangladesh

Group E

Maldives 0-4 Indonesia

Thailand 3-0 Timor-Leste

Group F

Pakistan 0-2 Korea DPR

Group G

Jordan 1-0 United Arab Emirates

Group H

Kyrgyzstan 1-1 Iran

Vietnam stun Iran at Games; Indonesia rout Timor Leste

Vietnam got off to a flying start at the 2015 Asian Games in Incheon after claiming a stunning 4-1 win over Iran at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium on Monday.

Although they entered the Group H match as huge underdogs, Vietnam edged ahead in the 24th minute when Mac Hong Quan cleverly broke free down the right before playing the ball to the back post for Vo Huy Toan to smash home.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0 when Hong Quan brilliantly skipped past Mohammadreza Khanzadeh twice before lashing his shot past Hojjat Segdhi.

Iran did pull one back six minutes after the hour mark through a Mohsen Mosalman penalty, which was awarded after Mehdi Sharifi had been hacked down by opposition keeper Tran Buu Ngoc just inside the area.

However, it took the Vietnamese just three minutes to restore their two-goal cushion as Tran Phi Son broke into the box after exchanging a neat one-two before rifling the ball into the back of the net.

The rout was then completed in the 82nd minute when Ngo Hoang Thinh lined up an indirect freekick and smashed the ball home from eight yards, after Segdhi had been penalised for catching a back-pass.

And to make matters worse for the Iranians, they finished the game with ten men following a red card to Khanzadeh, who was booked for clattering into Buu Ngoc before being shown a second yellow moments later for shoving over an opponent.

With only three teams in their group, Vietnam are almost certain to qualify for the knockout round and are in action again on September 22 when they take on Krygyzstan.

Over in Group E, Indonesia got off to a flyer as they claimed an emphatic 7-0 triumph over neighbours Timor Leste at the Goyang Stadium.

Ferdinand Sinaga opened the scoring after seven minutes when he was left with a simple tap-in, after Bayu Gatra Sanggiawan had hit the byline and cut the ball back to him.

Merah Putih then doubled their lead four minutes later when Syakir Sulaiman touched a cross into the path of Sinaga to leave him with another close-range finish.

The Persib Bandung forward then completed his hat-trick five minutes after the half-hour mark when he raced through after beating the offside trap, before firing away a left-footed shot that took a wicked deflection and looped over a hapless Ramos Maxanches.

Despite holding a comfortable lead, the Indonesians were in no mood to take their foot off the pedal and added a fourth in the 75th minute; Alfin Tuasalamony converting from 12 yards after his side had been awarded a penalty.

Novri Setiawan was next to get in on the act as he skipped past Maxanches after being played through by Fandi Eko’s lovely pass before slotting into the unguarded net six minutes later.

Sinaga was also not done yet and notched his fourth of the evening in the 83rd minute after skipping inside Paulo Cesar da Silva Martins and firing into the back of the net.

And the rout was completed five minutes before the end as Sinaga’s blistering drive could only be parried by Maxanches, leaving Fandi with the simple task of volleying home on the rebound.

Group E’s second game saw Thailand also kick off their campaign with a win after they defeated Maldives 2-0.

Following a goalless first half, the War Elephants broke the deadlock when Narubodin Weerawatnodom climbed highest inside the six-yard box to head home Kroekrit Thaweekarn’s corner.

Nonetheless, they were unable to seal the win until the 85th minute when their second goal arrived after Adisak Kraisorn met a right-wing delivery and clinically swept a first-time effort into the far corner.

Monday’s 2015 Asian Games Results

Group B

Bangladesh 1-0 Afghanistan

Uzbekistan 1-1 Hong Kong

Group E

Timor Leste 0-7 Indonesia

Thailand 2-0 Maldives

Group F

Korea DPR 3-0 China

Group G

United Arab Emirates 5-0 India

Group H

Iran 1-4 Vietnam

Kawin, Theerathon to boost Thailand’s Asian Games bid

Thailand’s bid to challenge for honours at the 2014 Asian Games have been boosted by the inclusion of stalwarts Kawin Thamsatchanan and Theerathon Bunmathan.

The continental meet, which is held once every four years, will take place next month in Korea Republic and the Thais will once again be Southeast Asia’s best hope for a medal finish.

Although the football event is contested by Under-23 teams, squads will be allowed to pick three overage players.

And in his 20-man squad announced on Wednesday, Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang named Muangthong United goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan and Buriram United left-back Theerathon Bunmathan as his overage players, along with centre-back Pratum Chuthong.

11 players that have been called up were also part of Kiatisuk’s squad that won the gold medal at the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, including Thai-Swiss midfielder Charyl Chappuis, BEC Tero Sasana defenders Narubodin Weerawatnodom and Peerapat Notechaiya, and Buriram striker Adisak Kraisorn.

A massive inclusion for the War Elephants is BEC Tero playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin, who missed last year’s regional meet through injury but is a regular for the senior side and played at the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Another player that was not part of the gold medal-winning side last year that has been rewarded with a call-up is Chonburi winger Nurul Sriyankem, who has been in starring form for his club so far this season.

Goalkeepers: Kawin Thamsatchanan (Muangthong United), Chanin Sae-Eae (Singhtarua)

Defenders: Theerathon Bunmathan, Pratum Chuthong, Chitipat Tanklang (all Buriram United), Wasan Homsaen (Bangkok Glass), Sarawut Kanlayanabandit (Air Force Central), Narubodin Weerawatnodom, Peerapat Notechaiya, Adisorn Promrak (all BEC Tero Sasana)

Midfielders: Pokkhao Anan, Pakorn Prempak (both Police United), Charyl Chappuis (Suphanburi), Nurul Sriyankem (Chonburi), Sarach Yooyen (Muangthong United), Tanaboon Kesarat, Chanathip Songkrasin (both BEC Tero Sasana)

Forwards: Chananan Pombuppha (Osotspa Saraburi), Pinyo Inpinit (Police United), Adisak Kraisorn (Buriram United)

Kiatisuk named Thailand coach after SEA Games triumph

Kiatisuk Senamuang has been named coach of the Thailand national team just a week after leading the Under-23 side to victory at the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The 40-year-old’s appointment as the boss of the senior side was confirmed at a Football Association of Thailand (FAT) board meeting.

“Everybody agreed to his appointment,” FAT acting president Worawi Makudi told the Bangkok Post.

Kiatisuk will continue to be in charge of the U-23s, but his first assignment with the War Elephants’ senior side will come in March in their final 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Lebanon.

Thailand have already been eliminated and condemned to a bottom-place finish in Group B following a 3-1 defeat to Kuwait last month, which led to the departure of Surachai Jaturapattarapong.

Kiatisuk took charge of the War Elephants earlier in the year on an interim basis following Winfried Schafer’s resignation, and led them to an impressive 5-1 win over China with a side consisting just four players over the age of 23.

And just last week, he successfully led the U-23s to a 12th SEA Games gold medal after they beat Indonesia in the final.

Kiatisuk remains one of Thailand’s most celebrated footballers having scored 70 goals in 131 games for national team, as well as having spells abroad in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and at English side Huddersfield, although he failed to make a single appearance during his time there.