SURABAYA (1 Aug 2018) – Laos were not spectacular but they did just enough with a double from Chony Wenpaserth to beat Singapore 2-1 on the second match day of Group B of the AFF Under-16 Championship here at the Joko Samudro Stadium in Gresik.
The Laotians who had overcame Brunei 3-2 in their opening match of the group two days earlier, played with the same vigour against a fresh Singaporean side playing their first match of the tournament.
But two goals in each half were enough to give Laos their second full points as Singapore pulled a goal back late in the game for their first loss of their campaign.
“It is good to get two good results from two matches. And the combination play and understanding between players are developing well,” said Laos head coach Kanlaya Sysomvang.
“We defended and attacked well, so the players played their part. We will only get better from here.”
Singapore tried hard to match the pace set by Laos but what probably made the difference was the presence of captain Chony Wenpaserth for the latter.
While Singapore were sniffing for their first goal, it was Laos who grabbed the lead when who else but Chony nodde home the cross from Phoutthalak Thongsanith.
Singapore tried hard to get more control of the midfield but their constant loss of possession meant that their chances were few and far in between.
The best that Singapore could muster in the first half was a shot from Iman Hakim Ibrahim that ricocheted off a Laos defender before keeper Solasak Thilavong made a clean save.
With Singapore’s Chua Ming Xuan flick going just over at the start of the second half and then Laos replying with a Chony freekick that rocked the crossbar for the former, the second goal finally came in the 55th minute of play.
Some hesitant Singapore defending gave Chony the chance to stab the ball home for Laos’ second goal of the evening.
But Singapore never gave up and with the chance for players, it gave them some options which paid dividend two minutes to the end when Ming Xun slammed the ball in from a tight angle.
“We tried hard to press them but it was obvious that they were very dangerous in the counter attacks,” said Singapore keeper Ryo Shigaki.
“We are in a very tough group but we are optimistic.”
In the meantime in an earlier match, Thailand blasted a hapless Brunei DS side 7-0 for their second win in as many matches.
“The score was good but I expected more from the performance,” said Thailand head coach Thongchai Rungreangleas after the match.
“There was not enough intensity and speed in the game. We need to be better in the next match as we need to stick to the playing philosophy that has been set.”
As compared to their game against Malaysia two days earlier, the Thais did not exactly shot off the block as were taking it easier at the start.
But that lack in pace was still too much pressure on the often disjointed Brunei backline where just ten minutes in, they found themselves behind with Arthit Bua Ngam firing in a stiff grounder from the right.
With Brunei playing the hit and run game relying on Imam Mahdi Suhaimi for the chase, Thailand did not have to work too hard to add to the scoreline.
Three goals on a trot to punish the porous Brunei defense within a space of just over 11 minutes – Thanakrit Laorkai in the 17th minute, Thanarin Thumsen (21st) and Sitthinan Rungrueang (26th) – gave Thailand a comfortable 4-0 lead at the half.
Several substitutions before and after the break, saw Thailand stepping off the gas somewhat.
And with Brunei coning close with just a disallowed goal from Imam Mahdi, the Thais went on to add three more goals with a 57th minute penalty from the stocky Punnawat Chote-jirachalthon.
Punnawat then set up Panupong Wannatong in the 63rd minute before a fabulous freekick from Sarrawas Leela three minutes to the end, completed a fine evening for Thailand.
“We are almost as good as out,” said Brunei head coach Stephen Ng. “We were never outplayed as compared to just having individual mistakes conceding the goals.”
1 Aug 2018 – Group B
Brunei DS 0 Thailand 7
Singapore 1 Laos 2
2 Aug 2018 – Group A
1500: Timor Leste vs Cambodia (Joko Samudro Stadium)
1530: Philippines vs Myanmar (Delta Sidoarjo Stadium)
1900: Vietnam vs Indonesia (Delta Sidoarjo Stadium)