| BANGKOK (19 Nov 2009) – A first-half header from Aleksandar Duric was enough to sink Thailand 1-0 in Bangkok as ASEAN neighbour Malaysia are virtually out of a place in the 2011 Asian Cup following their 3-1 defeat to Uzbekistan.
Thailand, who had struck a 3-1 win over Singapore just a few days ago, had the lions’ share of the possession at the Rajamangala Stadium but their failure to convert any of them gave the visiting Lions the initiative to carve out the lead.
Duric, who missed several chances in the last match, nodded home the only goal in the game off a Mohamad Shaiful corner in the 38th minute.
The three points moved Singapore into second place in Group E – a point clear of Thailand and a point behind leaders Iran, who face Jordan on Saturday.
In the meantime, Malaysia remain rooted at the bottom of Group C following their 3-1 loss to Uzbekistan at the National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The Uzbeks, who had also won 3-1 in Tashkent on the weekend, are already in the final round of the 2011 Asian Cup.
And in Kuala Lumpur, the visiting side took the lead in the 32nd minute off Anvar Gafurov before adding further goals off Bakhodir Nasimov in the 58th minute and then Timur Kapadze in the 73rd minute.
Malaysia’s only goal of the game came from Badrol Bakhtiar in the 70th minute.
With Uzbekistan topping the group, the Malaysians have only one more match to play for in the qualifiers – which is against the United Arab Emirates in early January.