AFF Women's Championship

Thailand hit top gear, Philippines advance for first time


Chonburi: Thailand eliminated Malaysia with a 7-0 win, while Philippines advanced to the semi-finals for the first time as Group A concluded at the 2019 AFF Women’s Championship at Chonburi IPE Stadium on Friday.

The results mean hosts and defending champions Thailand will face Myanmar in Sunday’s semi-finals, which will also see the Philippines take on Group B winners Vietnam.

Nothing was set in stone going into Group A’s final Matchday, but the Philippines outclassed Singapore 4-0 to advance, before Thailand sealed top spot in emphatic style with their big win over Malaysia.

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THAILAND 7-0 MALAYSIA

Thailand confirmed their status as Group A winners, producing a timely show of quality to register a resounding 7-0 win, which eliminated opponents Malaysia.

Malaysia were still in contention to advance to the knockout stage when the final Matchday began, but they had no answers to the tournament favourite as Saowalak Phengngam starred with four goals.

Thailand’s win, which gives new head coach Naurephon Kaenson a perfect record of four wins from four matches, sets up a semi-final meeting with Myanmar on Sunday.

For the third time in the group stage, the Chaba Kaew scored in the blink of an eye, with Phengngam getting on the end of Kanjana Sung-Ngoen’s low cross to open her account in the second minute.

The same players were involved in the 14th minute, leading to the same result when Phengngam made it two, before she turned provider by setting up Orapin Wanngoen for the third goal 12 minutes later.

The Phengngam show continued in the 35th minute when she completed her hat-trick from mere inches out, and Malaysia’s knockout stage bid was well and truly dashed when Kwanrudi Saengchan added a fifth goal two minutes before half-time.

It looked like the procession of goals would continue when Saengchan benefitted from another superb Sung-Ngoen delivery to bring up the half-dozen two minutes after the interval, before Malaysia managed to at least stem the tide for the most of the second half.

But Phengngam finished the evening the same way she started it, waltzing in behind the Malaysian defence before slamming home her fourth goal of the match, and Thailand’s 28th of the group stage, as the hosts eased into the business end of the tournament.


SINGAPORE 0-4 PHILIPPINES

Malaysia’s loss proved to be the Philippines’ gain, as a hat-trick from teenager Alisha Del Campo powered the Malditas into a first ever AFF Women;’s Championshiup semi-final with a 4-0 win over Singapore in Friday’s early match.

Level with Malaysia on six points coming into the final day, Philippines finished Group A with three wins and one defeat to advance to the knockout stage in second place and ending a run of nine successive group stage eliminations.

Let Dimzon’s side blew the game open in the early stages, with Green Archers United forward Del Campo scoring within the opening minute before Quinley Quezada continued her excellent tournament with a second just five minutes later.

Singapore’s last chance at leaving Chonburi with a win passed them by when Del Campo headed home a third goal in the final minute of the first half, and the 19-year-old completed her treble five minutes after the break, as the Philippines passed their final group stage test with flying colours.

With a nine-point group stage haul - their best ever return at this stage of the regional competition – Dimzon’s charges will now look to go even further by beating Vietnam in Sunday’s semi-final.

Semi-final fixtures (Sunday, all times local): Vietnam v Philippines (15:00), Thailand v Myanmar (18:00).

Photos: Football Association of Thailand

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