SURABAYA (1 Aug 2018) – The seven goals against Brunei DS this afternoon at the Joko Samudro Stadium underlined Thailand’s determination to win the AFF Under-16 Championship this year as they picked up their second full points from two matched played so far.
Playing in Group B the Thais, who were the losing finalists at home in Chonburi in 2017, had beaten Malaysia in their opening match two days earlier.
“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.”