Thailand begin with 3-2 victory over Burma (December 03, 2007)

Nakhon Ratchasima _ Thailand began their defence of the SEA Games football title with an unimpressive 3-2 victory against Burma at the 80th Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the King stadium yesterday.

After easing into a 3-0 lead and seemingly cruising to victory, they made it hard work for themselves by conceding two sloppy second half goals and missing a number of golden chances.

Thailand coach, Thongsuk Sampahangsit was not pleased with the performance.

"We let in two soft goals, although we should have been awarded two penalties," he said.

"Our midfield didn't play well. We haven't got a good playmaker. However it was our first game and I think we will improve."

Roared on by a capacity 20,000 crowd Thailand went on the attack from the start spearheaded by strikers Teerathep Winothai and Teerasil Dangda

The hosts should have gone ahead in the 18th minute when Teerasil was brought down in the box by Burmese goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet but the Indian referee Suresh Srinivasan saw it differently.

Thailand kept up the pressure and were finally rewarded just before half-time when Teerthep converted a pass by Teerasil after a mistake by a Burma defender to make it 1-0.

Thailand stepped up the pace in the second half and went 2-0 up in the 51st minute when Arthit Sunthornpitds corner was headed home by Wuthichai Tatong to make it 2-0.

Eight minutes later it was 3-0 when a cross hit defender Moe Win and the ball beat his own goalkeeper.

At this point Thailand looked totally in command, but in the 71st minute Burma took advantage of a mistake in the Thai defence and Si Thu Than scored to reduce the deficit to 3-1

Five minutes later it was 3-2 when Kiatprawut Saiwaew made a hash of a clearance and headed past his own keeper.

Thailand should have got a fourth goal in the 90th minute when Teerasil set up substitute Sompong Soleb with an open goal but somehow he managed to shoot wide.

Thailand finished 3-2 winners and were much the better team, but need to cut out the mistakes in future matches.

In the other Group A match Indonesia defeated Cambodia 3-1.

Thailand will next play Cambodia while Burma take on Indonesia.

In women's football, Thailand thrashed Malaysia 6-0. On target for the hosts were Janpen Seeserm (9 and 26), Nisa Romyen (14), Pitsamai Sornsai (52), Supaporn Kaewbaen (86) and Sunisa Sangthaisong (88).

STANDINGS! P ! W ! D ! L ! F ! A ! Pts!

Indonesia ! 1 ! 1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 3 ! 1 ! 3!

Thailand ! 1 ! 1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 3 ! 2 ! 3!

Burma ! 1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 1 ! 2 ! 3 ! 0!

Cambodia ! 1 ! 0 ! 0 ! 1 ! 1 ! 3 ! 0!

In the women's football, Thailand thrashed the Malaysian 6-0.

Thailand womens team got six goals from Janpen Seeserm (9 and 26), Nisa Romyen (14), Pitsamai Sornsai (52), Supaporn Kaewbaen (86) and Sunisa Sangthaisong (88).