Thailand hit four past Philippines (January 15, 2007)
Co-hosts next face Malaysia tomorrow
Thailand cruised to a 4-0 Group A win over the Philippines at Supachalasai stadium yesterday, but could have bagged more in a one-sided first half.
Sarayuth Chaikamdee snared two goals, while Pipat Thonkanya and Natthaphomg Samana added to the scoreline for the co-hosts.
Despite the victory, Thailand coach Charnwit Phalajivin had some harsh words for his side.
"I am happy with the result but not happy with the teamwork," he said.
"They wanted to score goals individually, which is not very good.
"The teamwork was not there at all."
He said he was also unhappy with the way the players often opted to hit the ball long instead of building up momentum through passing.
But he admitted the scoreline was a real tonic for any complaints.
"In the 1-1 draw with Burma we had a good teamwork but could not score while in this game the teamwork was really bad but we got the right result," said Charnwit.
Philippines coach Jose Ariston Caslib said he was pleased with the way his side reacted after the interval following a torrid opening 45 minutes.
Thailand made a few changes from the first match with striker Kiatisak Senamuang left out to rest.
Pipat and Sarayuth started up front and Pipat had an early shot saved by goalkeeper Louie Michael Casas.
A minute later, Thailand should have scored through Suchao Nutnum but he sent his chance wide.
The first goal came in the 15th minute when Sutee Suksomkit released the ball from midfield to Sarayuth and he slotted home to make it 1-0.
Nataporn Phanrit wasted another chance then Pipat and Suchao fluffed their lines when it mattered.
In the 21st minute Datsakorn Thonglao supplied Pipat for Thailand's second then the third came seven minutes later with a header from Sarayuth.
The Thai side should have got their fourth when the Philippines' Emelio Caligdong fouled Suree Sukha in the box prompting Indonesian referee Seriyono Nitrorejo to point to the penalty spot.
Sarayuth tried to place it in the bottom corner but his effort glanced off the outside of the post.
The Philippines tried hard to reply in the second half and captain Christopher Greatwich was denied by some fine work from Thai goalkeeper Kosin Hathairattanakul.
Natthaphong Samana replaced Nataporn Phanrit but Thailand had gone off the boil from their rampant first half and Greatwich only just missed another opportunity to score.
Seven minutes from time Thailand got their fourth from substitute Natthaphong.
In yesterday's early match, Malaysia drew 0-0 with Burma.
Thailand play Malaysia tomorrow in the last match of the preliminary round at Supachalasai stadium.
Burma will take on the Philippines at the Army stadium. Both matches kick-off at 7pm.
Only the top two from each group move into the semi-finals.
Indonesia lead Group B with three points after one game while Singapore and Vietnam have one point, with Laos yet to get off the mark in last position.
Singapore play Laos and Vietnam take on Indonesia in Singapore today.
STANDINGS P W D L F A Pts
Thailand 2 1 1 0 5 1 4
Malaysia 2 1 1 0 4 0 4
Burma 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
Philippines 2 0 0 2 0 8 0