Teerasil treble lifts Thailand (Bangkok Post) (28/11/2012 )
Published: 28/11/2012 at 12:00 AM Newspaper section: Sports
A hat-trick from Teerasil Dangda inspired Thailand to a 4-0 win over Myanmar and a semi-final place in the AFF Suzuki Cup at Rajamangala National Stadium last night.
In the other Group A match, the Philippines stunned Vietnam 1-0 to send the 2008 champions closer to elimination.
After two games, Thailand have six points, the Philippines three and Vietnam and Myanmar one each. In Friday's last Group A games, Vietnam have to defeat Thailand to stand any chance of progressing while the Philippines take on Myanmar.
The top two teams from each of the two groups reach the semi-finals of the Southeast Asian championship. Group B features co-hosts and defending champions Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.
At Rajamangala, Thailand, who edged the Philippines 2-1 in their opening game, were the better side throughout and took the lead after 20 minutes thanks to a well-taken strike by Teerasil.
Apipoo Sunthornpanavej made it 2-0 after 60 minutes when he rose above two Myanmar defenders to head home.
Myanmar, who held Vietnam to a 1-1 draw in their first game, were again punished by Teerasil after 82 minutes. The striker completed his hat-trick with two minutes remaining.
Thailand have won the biennial tournament three times. They last lifted the trophy in 2002 and were embarrassingly eliminated in the first round in the previous edition in 2010.
Philippines 1 Vietnam 0
The Philippines continued to haunt Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup, recording a dramatic 1-0 victory that kick-started their campaign after losing to Thailand in their opening fixture.
The Philippines beat the 2008 champions at the group stage two years ago on their way to the semi-finals and they repeated the result in Bangkok.
The winning goal came in the 85th minute when substitute Emilio Caligdong lashed the ball home after a defence-splitting pass by Angel Guirado, who also came into the action in the second half.
Philippines coach Michael Weiss said that the substitutions swung the game in the favour of his team.
"My team fought like lions and warriors and withstood the power attacks of Vietnam," said the German coach, who watched the game from the stands after being sent off in the Thailand match.
Vietnam coach Phan Thanh Hung said that his players made too many mistakes.
"Our team played the worst match since I became head coach," Phan said.
!P ! W ! D! L! GF !GA! Pts!!
Thailand !2! 2! 0! 0! 6! 1! 6!!
Philippines !2! 1! 0! 1! 2! 2! 3!!
Vietnam !2! 0! 1! 1! 1! 2! 1!!
Myanmar !2! 0! 1! 1! 1! 5! 1!!