BINH DUONG (11 August 2019) – Australia made it three wins out three in Group B of the AFF Under-18 Next Media Cup 2019 when they beat Thailand 3-1 as Malaysia picked up their second win three matches when they Cambodia 3-0.
In the match that was played at the Binh Duong Stadium, the Australians survived a first half onslaught from Thailand before picking up the full points while Malaysia scored all three goals in the first half for the win.
“It was not our best game but I am glad that we found a way to win this match. Any other day, if Thailand had their scoring boots on, the score would have been very different,” said Australia head coach Gary Van Egmond after the game.
And the truth was that Thailand should have easily won the game in the first half itself had they muffed the chances they had created.
With Australia struggling under the afternoon sun, the Thais were controlling the match from the get go with Sitthinan Rungrueang testing shot that was blocked by Australian keeper Kai Calderbank-Park.
Two minutes later, it was Nitibodin Makot’s turn to shoot it wide as the Thais continued to be frustrated with the misses all the way through the first 45 minutes as Chiraphong Raksongkham and Achitpol Keereerom fared no better.
And with Guntapon Keereeleang’s effort coming off the upright six minutes after the restart, it gave the impetus for Australia to push forward and ultimately scored the first goal of the game.
A quick counter in the 57th minute down the left saw Jarrod Carluccio squaring for Dylan Ruiz-Diaz to score with some ten minutes later it was the reverse with Ruiz-Diaz feeding for Carluccio.
Ruiz-Diaz then grabbed his second and Australia’s third in the 78th minute when he punished a mistake from Thai keeper Sopowin Rakyart to score.
Thailand finally got the goal they were looking for seven minutes to the end with a curling shot from Natcha Promsomboon. Unfortunately, it came a little late as the score stayed all the way to the end.
On the other hand, Malaysia picked up their second win in three matches when they beat Cambodia 3-0 in the match that was played at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
Cambodia, buoyed by their confidence-boosting win over Thailand two days earlier were out for another scalp.
But they would find the Malaysians a totally different proposition as the several mistakes from goalkeeper Vireak Dara would play into the latter’s hand.
Captain Muhammad Mukhain Ajmal Mahadi nailed the opening goal after 18 minutes with a stinger from 20metres past a rooted Vireak while some twenty minutes later, his failure to make a clean save allowed Muhd Muslihuddin Atiq Mat Zahid to finish the loose ball.
The Malaysians then rounded off a fine first half with a looping freekick from defender Muhammad Firdaus Ramli.
Cambodia tried to get back into the game in the second half as the Malaysians seem content to sit back and protect the lead which they had carved from a frantic first half.