| BANGKOK (March 31, 2007) – Thailand retained the Asean Futsal Championship for a record fifth time when they outclassed debutants Australia 7-1 in the final at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium here this evening.
The Thais packed too much firepower and overwhelmed their rivals to ensure the coveted trophy remained in their grasp for yet another year.
“The win is very positive for our preparation for the AFC Futsal Championship (in May),” said Pattaya Peimkum.
“We will have a little break this week before starting our preparation the week after.”
Thailand, winners since the annual tournament was inaugurated in 2001, struck four times in the first half through Sermphun Khumthinkaew, Lertchai Issarasuwipakorn, Ekapong Suratsawang and Prasert Innui.
Sermphun was on target for a second time after the break while Thailand’s remaining two more goals were netted by skipper Panuwat Janta and striker Anucha Munjaren.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd of some 6,000 fans, the Thais started took the fight to the Aussies but were unable to make much headway.
After numerous attempts, and some good work from the Aussie keeper, the Thais finally broke the duck.
Slipping past Miles Downie, Sermphun deftly curled it into the far corner beyond the reach of the custodian for the opening goal of the final.
The crowd sprang to their feet in delight but they would have to wait seven more minutes before celebrating again.
Lertchai half-volleyed the Thais further ahead before Ekapong, just a minute later, snatched the ball from the feet of a defender, waltzed past the goalkeeper to make it 3-0.
The Thais were awarded a penalty and Prasert made no mistake from the spot.
The Thais continued to pound the Aussie goal and managed three more goals through Sermphun (25th), Panuwat (38th) and Anucha (39th). Australia pulled one back through Simon Keith in the 34th minute.
In the dying minutes of the game, Australia’s Adrian Vizzari picked up a second booking and was red carded.
Meanwhile, in the fourth placing playoff, Malaysia picked up the bronze after beating Vietnam on penalties.
With the score tied at 6-6, the teams were forced into the shootout which Malaysia won 3-1.
In the match, Vietnam stormed to a 2-0 lead and were up 4-1 at one stage before the Malaysians staged a comeback.
Malaysia were in the driver’s seat and led 6-4 but Vietnam hauled themselves back into contention with goals from Huynh Dong Kha in the 31st and Le Van Khuong in the 34th minutes.
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING
VIETNAM 6 (1)
ROLL OF HONOUR