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