Thailand rout Cambodia to reach semis (December 05, 2007)
Nakhon Ratchasima _ Thailand moved into the semi-finals of the 24th SEA Games after thrashing Cambodia 8-0 at His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium yesterday.
A hat-trick from striker Anon Sangsanoi helped Thailand secure a comfortable win. It was the second successive victory for the seven-time defending champions who edged past Burma 3-2 on Sunday.
Cambodia, meanwhile, had hoped to salvage their campaign after losing to Indonesia 3-1 in their opening match only to find that the hosts were too strong for them.
Thailand made four changes from the Burma match with Chonlatit Jantakam, Sivaruk Tedsungnoen, Apipoo Suntornpanavej and Anon included in the starting line-up. And it was Anon who celebrated his inclusion in style with a hat-trick.
Cheered on by a big crowd, the home team took the lead minutes after the kick-off when Apipoo pounced from close range after Cambodia goalkeeper Samreth Seiha was unable to hold an Anon shot.
Thailand maintained the pressure on Cambodia with Anon and Teerathep Winothai combining well up front. They went close to double their lead but this time Seiha made a good save from Teerathep.
Thailand got their second goal in the 40th minute. A fierce shot by Wuthichai Tatong forced Seiha to palm the ball away and Teerathep was there to score from a few yards out.
Adul Lasoh was on target three minutes later to make 3-0 in Thailand's favour at the interval.
Thailand got their fourth goal only a minute into the second half. Arthit Sunthornpit's free-kick hit the post and fell in front of Anon who converted it with ease.
With the match turning into a scoring spree for the home team, Teerathep put his name on the scoresheet to make it 5-0 three minutes later.
Tana Chanabut then came on to replace Teerathep and added the sixth goal.
Anon scored his second goal, Thailand's seventh, in the 83rd minute and added his third four minutes later to complete the thrashing.
Thailand coach Thongsuk Sumpahangsit said that the fact that his men scored an early goal made it a lot easier for the team.
''The goal definitely took the pressure off our players,'' said Thongsuk. ''Cambodia played an attacking game today which made it easy for us to score as well.
He added that the tactics would be changed for the next match. ''Although we have already qualified for the semi-finals. We will do our best in our last match against Indonesia,'' he said.
Thailand will take on Indonesia in the final match of the preliminary round while Burma will meet Cambodia. The two matches will be played on Friday.
In the other Group A match, Indonesia and Burma played to a goalless draw.
P W D L F A Pts
Thailand 2 2 0 0 11 2 6
Indonesia 2 1 2 0 3 1 4
Burma 2 0 1 1 2 3 1
Cambodia 1 0 0 1 1 3 0