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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Cambodia, Timor-Leste through to second round; Brunei ousted

Cambodia are through to the second round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Macau on Tuesday was enough to send them through 4-1 on aggregate.

Following a 3-0 win over Macau in last Friday’s first leg, the Royal Khmers only need to avoid defeat at the Macau Olympic Complex to guarantee their place in the next round.

However, just for good measure, they took the lead two minutes before the half-hour mark when Thierry Chantha Bin netted his first goal in international colours.

Macau did equalise on the night in the 52nd minute when Leong Ka Hang netted from the penalty spot but it was little more than a consolation, as the Cambodians held out to advance.

The other Southeast Asian side that will be joining them in the second round are Timor-Leste¸who beat Mongolia 1-0 at the MFF Football Centre to record a 5-1 aggregate triumph.

The only goal of the game arrived after just nine minutes Patrick Fabiano found the back of the net, which ultimately proved enough to seal their place in the next stage.

However, there was no such joy for Brunei Darussalam as they were eliminated by Chinese Taipei 2-1 on aggregate following a 2-0 defeat at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Despite leading 1-0 from last Friday’s first leg, Tebuan fell behind in the 37th minute through a Wang Rui strike, before Chu En-le added a second eight minutes after halftime to win it for the visitors.

Brunei claim historic triumph; wins for Cambodia, Timor-Leste

Brunei Darussalam claimed their first-ever win in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday after beating Chinese Taipei 1-0 in the first leg of their first-round clash.

The only goal of the game at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung arrived in the 36th minute and was credited to Adi Said, although he appeared to make little contact with Awangku Fakharrazi’s right-wing cross which sailed all the way past Chin Yu-hung.

The victory puts in a good position to qualify for the group stage in the second round, as long as they avoid defeat in next Tuesday’s second leg.

Over at the Army Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia also took a big step towards advancing to the next round when they beat Macau 3-0.

Chan Vathanaka fired the Angkor Warriors ahead in the 64th minute when the opposition defence’s failure to clear their lines allowed him to pounce on a loose ball, and skip past Ho Man Fai before firing into the unguarded net.

Vathanaka then doubled his and his team’s tally nine minutes from time when he lined up a freekick on the edge of the box, and curled a brilliant effort in off the far post.

And in the fourth minute of injury-time, Khoun Laboravy sealed the win for Cambodia after he was left unmarked inside the box, and met Rous Samoeun’s left-wing cross with a deft header into the far corner.

Timor-Leste, the final Southeast Asian side involved in Thursday’s qualifiers, were also victorious after beating Mongolia 4-1 at the National Stadium in Dili.

Chiquito do Carmo got the Timorese off to a dream start after netting twice in the opening seven minutes, but they had to wait till the 84th minute to put the result beyond doubt when Rodrigo Silva made it 3-0.

Jairo Neto added a fourth for O Sol Nascente a minute later cap off the rout, although the visitors did manage a consolation effort in the 87th minute through a Batmonkhiin Erkhembayar strike.

Laos, Myanmar complete AFF Suzuki Cup line-up

The line-up for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup was completed on Saturday after Laos and Myanmar both claimed victories in the qualification round.

Laos, who have been in dominant form since the opening day, stayed top and sealed a top-two finish after cruising to a 2-0 win over Timor Leste.

Thim Xad took the lead in the 32nd minute after a fantastic counter saw Vilayout Sayyabounsou burst free down the left before playing the ball into the path of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, who in turn picked out Khonesavanh Sihavong.

Although the winger could have gone for goal himself, he unselfishly laid it off to the rampaging Phoutthasay Khochalern, who proceeded to send a powerful drive past Ramos Maxanches.

And four minutes after the hour mark, they went on to seal the victory when Vilayout played an inch-perfect pass for Soukaphone Vongchiengkham to latch onto; the 22-year racing towards goal before coolly placing his shot into the bottom corner.

The result also meant Myanmar, who beat Cambodia 1-0 in Saturday’s earlier game, are through given there is no way they can finish lower than second.

Despite at times toiling against their unfancied opponents, the White Angels ultimately did enough for a narrow win when Kyaw Ko Ko sent Sou Yaty the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute, after Sok Sovan had been penalised for handling Khin Maung Lwin’s cross inside the box.

 Saturday’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Results

Cambodia 0-1 Myanmar

Laos 2-0 Timor Leste

Myanmar up and running; Cambodia stun Timor Leste

Myanmar’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying campaign is up and running after they cruised to a 3-1 win over Brunei at the New Laos National Stadium on Thursday.

After struggling to break down the opposition defence in the first half, the White Angels finally took the lead three minutes after the break when Min Min Thu was perfectly placed to smash home the rebound after Kyaw Ko Ko’s low drive had been parried by Azman Ilham.

They then doubled their lead in the 54th minute and this time there was no denying Kyaw Ko Ko as he beat Ak Yura Indera Putera in a one-on-one battle before racing through and finishing into the back of the net.

To their credit, the Bruneians refused to give in and pulled one back with 12 minutes remaining after Adi Said latched onto Hendra Azam’s visionary pass, before rounding Thiha Sithu and smashing his shot into the unguarded goal.

But just four minutes later, Myanmar went on to seal the win as Kyi Lin ran onto Nay Myo Aung’s long pass before sending a delicate chip over the onrushing Azman.

With the victory, Radojko Avramovic’s charges climbed up to second and are now two points behind leaders Laos, while Brunei’s hopes of qualification were ended in the process.

In Thursday’s earlier game, Cambodia produced a stunning fightback to beat Timor Leste 3-2 for their first points of the campaign.

Anggisu Barbosa had put the Timorese ahead in the 25th minute when he made a late run into the box and scored on the rebound, after Diogo Santos’ freekick had been saved by Sok Vaty.

And it looked as though O Sol Nascente were cruising to victory when Filipe Bertoldo made it 2-0 in the 51st minute; meeting Diogo’s right-wing cross with an outrageous back-flick into the bottom corner.

However, Sok Chanrasmey came off the bench to hand Cambodia a lifeline five minutes after the hour mark when he turned home Prak Mony Udom’s low cross from inside the six-yard box.

Chanrasmey was at it again in the 78th minute and this time, the disbelief in the Timorese camp was evident as the Tri Asia Phnom Penh attacker scored the equaliser by meeting Chan Vathanaka’s inch-perfect delivery with an exquisite header into the far corner.

Eight minutes from time, the comeback was completed as Chanrasmey completed his hat-trick with an emphatic finish on the follow-up – after Vathanaka’s initial header had come back off the bar – to win it for his side.

Thursday’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Results

Timor Leste 2-3 Cambodia

Brunei 1-3 Myanmar

Myanmar held by Timor Leste; second win for Laos

Myanmar’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification began on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw against Timor Leste at the New Laos National Stadium.

Radojko Avramovic’s charges came closest to taking the lead in the first half two minutes after the half-hour mark; Kyaw Ko Ko receiving a layoff from Yan Aung Kyaw and curling an excellent attempt back off the bar.

However, it was the Timorese who looked the more dangerous of the two sides as they game wore to a close, although they were just unable to find a way past Thiha Sithu and his resilient Myanmar defence.

In the earlier game at the New Laos National Stadium, hosts Laos made it two wins in a row as they saw off Brunei with a 4-2 victory.

The Bruneians gifted their opponents the opener after only three minutes when Shahrulrizal Abdul Rahman’s failure to control a high ball allowed Khampheng Sayavutthi to run through on goal.

Although his initial attempt drew a smart save from Azman Ilham, there was little the Brunei custodian could do to prevent Soukaphone Vongchiengkham from tapping home on the rebound.

Just three minutes later, Soukaphone struck again – this time after a moment of inspiration – as he cut inside Helmi Zambin before sending a bullet of a shot into the top corner.

Awangku Fakharrazi did however pull one back for Tebuan in the 33rd minute and on this occasion, it was a Laos player who made a costly mistake after goalkeeper Soukthavy Soundala was caught out of position and allowed a looping cross-cum-shot to end up in his goal.

Nonetheless, Shahrulrizal made another mistake four minutes into the second half when he was caught out by Khampheng, who made his way past Azman before restoring his side’s two-goal cushion with an easy finish.

And eight minutes after the hour mark, the result was put beyond doubt when Thim Xad added a fourth; Soukaphone initiating a well-worked move that ended with him getting on the end of Khonesavanh Sihavong’s return pass and firing into the bottom corner.

To their credit, Brunei refused to give in and reduced the deficit again in the 88th minute when Soukthavy’s failure to deal with an Azwan Saleh freekick allowed Shahrazen Said to send a glancing header into the back of the net.

Still, it proved to be little more than a consolation as Laos held out for the win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Suzuki Cup firmly on track.

Tuesday’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Results

Brunei 2-4 Laos

Myanmar 0-0 Timor Leste

Hosts Laos, Timor Leste off to winning start in qualifiers

Laos kicked off their 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-2 victory over neighbours Cambodia at the New Laos National Stadium in Vientiane on Sunday.

Following a goalless first half, the hosts took the lead ten minutes after the break when Khonesavanh Sihavong escaped the clutches of Say Piseth and Rous Samoen to latch onto a long ball and fire past Sou Yaty.

They then doubled their advantage 15 minutes later when Khampheng Sayavutthi timed his run to perfection to meet Soukaphone Vongchiengkham’s left-wing cross and finished into the far corner.

However, the Cambodians pulled one back in the 73rd minute after Khoun Laboravy received possession and cut inside Ketsada Souksavanh, before lashing his shot into the back of the net.

And just two minutes later, the Royal Khmers remarkably pulled level as Laboravy turned provider; causing all sorts of problems for the opposition defence before squaring the ball for Sok Chanrasmey to turn home with his knees.

But just when it looked like a draw was on the cards, Laos went on to claim maximum points as Khampheng emerged as the hero by lining up a freekick on the edge of the box and unleashing a stunning strike into the bottom corner for the winner.

In Sunday’s earlier game, Timor Leste claimed top spot after recording a 4-2 triumph over Brunei.

The Timorese had initially edged ahead through Murilo de Almeida’s sixth-minute opener, only for Adi Said to cancel it out with a goal of his own five minutes after the half-hour mark.

Tebuan then went in front four minutes before halftime after Awangku Fakharazzi was left with a simple finish past Ramos Maxanches, but their opponents were able to respond in the 70th minute when Murilo struck again after latching onto an over-the-top and slotting past Wardun Yussof.

Murilo then completed his hat-trick ten minutes later as he once again raced in behind the opponents’ defence to score, before Patrick Fabiano made sure of the victory with a neat finish two minutes from time.

Sunday’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Results

Timor Leste 4-2 Brunei

Laos 3-2 Cambodia