Thailand thrash Laos in Phuket (December 09, 2008)



PHUKET : Thailand's makeshift side hammered Laos 6-0 at Surakul stadium last night to move closer to clinching a semi-final berth at the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Thailand celebrate one of their goals against Laos in Phuket yesterday. Thailand now look certain to reach the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup. WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE

Arthit Sunthornphit and Anon Sangsanoi scored two goals apiece to secure Thailand's second win in as many games in Group B.

Ronnachai Rangsiyo, who opened the scoring after 19 minutes, and Patiparn Phetphun were also on target as Thailand took a 3-0 lead at half-time.

In yesterday's other game at the same stadium, Vietnam edged past Malaysia 3-2 to brighten their chances of making the next round. Thailand have six points while Vietnam and Malaysia each have three.

The two semi-final spots will be determined in tomorrow's final group games with Thailand facing Malaysia and Vietnam entertaining eliminated Laos. Classification will be first decided by goal difference.

It was earlier announced that Thailand v Malaysia match would be moved to Bangkok's Supachalasai stadium. But both games will now remain in Phuket as the Malaysians refused to travel to Bangkok.

Thailand coach Peter Reid made 10 changes to the starting line-up that beat Vietnam 2-0 in their opening game but the second-string team were still much too strong for Loas.

In a one-sided match in driving rain, Thailand opened the floodgate after 19 minutes when Laos goal-keeper Sengphanchan Bounthisanh failed to hold a shot giving Ronnachai an easy tap-in.

Patiparn's long-range drive following a goal-mouth melee gave the home team a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes.

Arthit's 40th minute curling free-kick gave Thailand a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time. His free-kick found the net again after 52 minutes.

Anon scored two goals in the final 11 minutes to complete the rout which handed Thailand a goal difference advantage over their rivals.

"With the win, I think we have already been through to the semi-finals," Reid said.

"I'm pleased with my players. We changed nearly the whole team and this shows our strength in depth."

Laos coach Saysana Savatdy said it was not a shame to concede six goals to a strong team like Thailand.

In the other match, Vietnam took the lead in the 17th minute off Pham Thanh Luong before Nguyen Vu Phong added a brace with goals in the 72nd and 86th minute.

Malaysia scored both their goals off Indra Putra Mahayuddin in the 20th and 85th minute.

Thailand and two-time defending champions have each won the Asean championship three times. Group A which comprises Indonesia, Singapore, Burma and Laos is being played in Indonesia.

Both the semi-finals and the final will be played on a home-and-away basis.

GROUP B

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

Thailand !2 ! 2 ! 0 ! 0 ! 8 ! 0 ! 6!

Malaysia !2 ! 1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 5 ! 3 ! 3!

Vietnam !2 ! 1 ! 0 ! 1 ! 3 ! 4 ! 3!

Laos !2 ! 0 ! 0 ! 2 ! 0 ! 9 ! 0!

Last night's result: Thailand 6, Laos 0

Playing tonight: Indonesia v Singapore