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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Indonesia, Vietnam eliminated from Asian Games

Indonesia were booted out of the 2014 Asian Games on Friday evening after falling to a 4-1 loss at the hands of Korea DPR in the quarter-finals.

The North Koreans took the lead at the Ansan Wa~ Stadium when Pak Kwang-ryong netted in the 19th minute, before Jo Kwang doubled their tally five minutes before the break.

A minute later, Jong Il-gwan added a third for Korea DPR but Indonesia pulled one back on the hour mark when Fandi Eko Utomo found the back of the net.

However, any hopes the Indonesians had of mounting a fightback were ended six minutes later when Jong grabbed his second of the game to seal the win for his side.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s hopes were also ended after they were beaten 3-1 by United Arab Emirates at the Hwaseong Stadium.

After Saeed Al Kathiri had fired the Emiratis ahead in the 21st minute, Sauf Khalfan Al Meqbaali struck on the hour mark to put them firmly in control of the tie.

Vietnam were however handed a boost three minutes later when their opponents had Mohammed Al Yassi sent off, and they managed to reduce the deficit in the 87th minute through a Nguyen Huy Hung strike.

Nonetheless, they were just unable to find the equaliser and UAE went on to make sure of the victory when Bandar Al Ahbabi added a third in injury-time.

In Friday’s other quarter-final matches, Iraq defeated Tajikistan 4-2 while Abdulaziz Al Bishi scored in the fifth minute of injury-time to hand Saudi Arabia a 3-2 victory over Uzbekistan.

Friday’s 2015 Asian Games Round of 16 Results

Iraq 4-2 Tajikistan

Vietnam 1-3 United Arab Emirates

Korea DPR 4-1 Indonesia

Uzbekistan 2-3 Saudi Arabia

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

Malaysia edge Vietnam to set up Indonesia semi

Defending champions Malaysia are through to the semi-finals of the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are beating Vietnam 2-1 on Tuesday to finish top of Group A.

Holding a one-point lead over their opponents ahead of their clash at the Zayyarthiri Stadium, Harimau Muda only needed to avoid defeat to secure top spot in the group and join already-qualified Singapore in the last four.

However, the Malaysians found themselves under tremendous pressure in the opening 45 as Vietnam looked determined to grab the opener, only to be denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Izham Tarmizi.

As Malaysia continued to stand strong despite wave after wave of attacks from their opponents, it began to look as though they would do enough for the draw that would see them qualify for the last four.

But ten minutes from time, it was them who finally broke the deadlock against the run of play when D. Saarvindran’s right-wing cross sailed over Thamil Arasu but landed kindly for Ashri Chuchu, who made no mistake in blasting a left-footed shot into the back of the net.

And just as the clock ticked over into injury-time, they added a second to kill off the contest as they hit their opponents on the counter; Irfan Fazail playing an incisive pass to Saarvindran, who skipped inside his man before firing past Tran Buu Ngoc at his near post.

Vietnam did manage to pull one back in the 95th minute when Mac Hong Quan scored on the rebound after his initial effort had been saved by Izham, but it proved little more than a consolation.

As a result of finishing top of Group A, Harimau Muda will now meet Indonesia in Thursday’s semi-finals in what will be a rematch of the 2011 final, while Thailand meet Singapore in the other last-four encounter.

In Tuesday’s late kickoff, Brunei ended their campaign pointless after falling to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Laos.

The Bruneians did manage to score their first goal of the tournament in the 34th minute when Mazizi Mazlan found the back of the net, but Laos took just four minutes to equalise through a Ketsada Souksavanh strike.

A minute after the break, the Laotians edged ahead when Soukaphone Vongchiengkam scored his second goal of the Games, before Vilayout Xayyabounaou stretched their lead even further with a third in the 52nd minute.

Brunei did manage to pull one back seven minutes from time thanks to an Azwan Ali effort but they were just unable to pull level, and ended bottom of the group pointless while Thim Xad finished in fourth with four points.

Tuesday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Malaysia 2-1 Vietnam

Laos 3-2 Brunei

Singapore book semi-final spot despite Malaysia draw

Singapore are through to the semi-finals of the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games despite being denied all three points after a late equaliser earned Malaysia a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Following a goalless first half at the Zayyarthiri Stadium, it was Singapore who opened the scoring on the hour mark when Afiq Yunos stabbed home on the rebound from four yards out, after Safuwan Baharudin’s towering header at the far post had come back off the woodwork.

And despite having to endure a number of close shaves, it looked as though the Cubs had done enough to hold on to the win.

Nonetheless, as the clock ticked over into injury-time, Harimau Muda were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, allowing Rozaimi Abdul Rahman to step up and curl a lovely left-footed effort over the wall and past Izwan Mahbud.

Still, the result was enough to see Singapore qualify from Group A as there is no way both Malaysia and Vietnam can match their points tally of eight, given they both face off on Tuesday in the final Group A match-day.

In Sunday’s late game, Vietnam moved a point behind Malaysia after cruising to a 5-0 victory over Laos, who were eliminated in the process.

Pham Manh Hung fired the Vietnamese ahead in the 28th minute, before Nguyen Van Quyet struck two minutes later to give them a comfortable lead at the break.

Van Quyet then doubled his tally for the evening in the 75th minute to make it 3-0 and Vu Minh Tuan killed off the contest with a fourth four minutes later, before Mac Hong Quan netted three minutes from time to round off the scoring for Vietnam.

Sunday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results

Singapore 1-1 Malaysia

Laos 0-5 Vietnam