Australia stay perfect, wins for Malaysia, Vietnam
Binh Duong: Australia made it three wins out three, Vietnam bounced back from a Matchday Two defeat while Malaysia recorded their second triumph in Group B action at the AFF Under-18 Championship 2019 on Sunday.
Australia defeated Thailand 3-1, Malaysia beat Cambodia 3-0 while Vietnam proved too strong for Singapore, recording a 3-0 triumph as the teams continue to build-up to the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.
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AUSTRALIA 3-1 THAILAND
The Australians survived a first half onslaught from Thailand before picking up full points.
“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.
With Australia struggling under the afternoon sun, the Thais were controlling the match from the get go with Sitthinan Rungrueang testing 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 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 break the deadlock.
A quick counter in the 57th minute down the left saw Jarrod Carluccio squaring for Dylan Ruiz-Diaz to score and 10 minutes later, it was the reverse with Ruiz-Diaz feeding 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.
Thailand got their consolation seven minutes from the end through a curling shot from Natcha Promsomboon.
The Thais play Vietnam on Tuesday while Australia will go up against Malaysia.
MALAYSIA 3-0 CAMBODIA
Cambodia, buoyed by their 4-3 win over Thailand two days earlier, were out for another scalp but found the Malaysians a totally different proposition as several mistakes by goalkeeper Vireak Dara proved costly.
Captain Muhammad Mukhain Ajmal Mahadi scored the opening goal after 18 minutes with a stinger from 20 metres out past a rooted Vireak and the goalkeeper's inability to make a clean save 10 minutes later allowed Muhd Muslihuddin Atiq Mat Zahid to slot home the loose ball.
The Malaysians then rounded off a fine first half with a looping free-kick from defender Muhammad Firdaus Ramli.
Cambodia will play Singapore on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE 0-3 VIETNAM
A double from striker Tran Manh Quynh and one from Nguyen Hoang gave hosts Vietnam a hard-earned 3-0 win over Singapore in the final game of the day.
With Australia having beaten Thailand 3-1 earlier and Malaysia making short work of Cambodia 3-0, the win for the hosts ensures that they are still in with a fighting chance of making the semi-finals.
After three matches, Vietnam have picked up six points after having defeated Malaysia 1-0 in their opening match. They lost 4-1 to Australia.
“It was by no means an easy match, but the players stayed to the strategy which had been set to pick up the full points,” said Vietnam head coach Hoang Anh Tuan.
In Group A action on Monday, Indonesia and Myanmar will aim to seal their semi-final spots. Both have a perfect record of three wins, with Indonesia topping the group on goal difference. Laos are third on six points.
Monday - Group A (all times local): Indonesia vs Laos (15:30); Timor Leste vs Philippines (16:00); Brunei Darussalam vs Myanmar (19:00).
Sources: ASEAN Football Federation, Vietnam Football Federation
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