Malaysia stay ahead as Australia, Thailand keep pace
Chonburi: Malaysia defeated Cambodia 2-0 to stay top of Group B of the 2019 AFF Under-15 Championship on Tuesday.
Their lead, however, is only on goal difference as Australia and Thailand also recorded their second wins at the Institute of Physical Education in Chonburi, Thailand to ensure a thrilling tussle in Group B for the two semi-final spots.
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Malaysia 2-0 Cambodia
The Malaysians, who had enjoyed the biggest win of the tournament thus far when they defeated Brunei 8-0 two days ago, could not find a way through in the first half as the gritty Cambodians battled hard.
The Malaysians had a better run in the second half, scoring twice to ensure full points. Muhammad Izrin Ibrahim brought relief to the Malaysian bench in the 63rd minute while Muhammad Aliff Izwan Yuslan made it comfortable for them in the 66th minute.
AFF U15 Boys' Championship 2019 - Current Standings pic.twitter.com/aCk5xvg5T9— ASEAN Football (@AFFPresse) July 30, 2019
Malaysian head coach P. Maniam, while happy with the result, said there is room for improvement.
“In today’s game, we created a lot of chances, unfortunately, the finishing was not there. But overall, I’m very happy with the players’ performance."
Maniam said his boys would be ready for Australia, their next opponents.
“Australia is a strong team, physically good, and tall players. Our players are very confident, and they are looking forward to playing Australia. I hope the players will maintain their winning momentum.”
Thailand 7-1 Brunei Darussalam
It took only three minutes for the Thais to celebrate their first goal as striker Minhart Kadeeroj headed in a corner set-piece.
Thailand, who had edged Laos 2-1 in their opening match, continued to hunt for goals and doubled their lead through Wongwat Jaroentaveesuk in the 12th minute. Anucha Somonwat, skipper Theekawin Chansri and Kakana Khamyok gave them a 5-0 lead going into the break.
There was no respite for Brunei Darussalam as Minhart completed his hat-trick with goals in the 50th and 80th minutes.
Thailand head coach Salvador Valero Garcia said he had opted to several key players.
“After starting with a difficult win against Laos, we rotated our players to give a rest to some key players, and at halftime, we rested a few more players. Overall, I’m happy with the performance and the rotation of the players.”
Thailand play Cambodia next.
Laos 0-3 Australia
Australia started with a completely different lineup to the side that had defeated Cambodia 3-1 two days ago but the result was the same as Trevor Morgan's side cruised to another victory.
The opening goal came in the 33rd minute when Kane Gibbs floated in a free-kick into the six-yard zone for Alexander Menelaou to connect into goal.
Substitute Bernardo Oliveira widened their lead in the 75th minute and Adrian Segecic settled matters a minute into added time.
Australia head coach Trevor Morgan said his team needed some time to get into the game but eventually took charge to win.
“Again, we enjoyed the match, we’ve given another 11 players an opportunity to play for their country, and it’s a great experience for us. The conditions were difficult again, it took us a while to establish ourselves in the match but eventually we controlled the game and some substitutes made the difference and we are very happy with the result.”
Wednesday - Group A (all times local): Indonesia vs Timor Leste (15.00), Singapore vs Vietnam (15.30), Philippines vs Myanmar (18.00).
Sources: ASEAN Football Federation, Football Association of Thailand
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