AFF Suzuki Cup, Football

#AFFSuzukiCup: Thailand seal last-gasp win over Singapore to book semi-final berth

Thailand are through to the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup after scoring a late goal to seal a dramatic win over V. Sundramoorthy’s Singapore team.

The Singaporeans adopted a conservative approach from the get go as they sat deep and frustrated the Thai attackers by not giving them time and space on the ball. As a spectacle, the match was relatively boring but tactically, you could see Singapore were intending to do – break on the counter-attack at every opportunity.

Siroch Chatthong’s 11th minute attempt was the closest Thailand got to breaking the deadlock until Teerasil Dangda’s horrendous miss merely minutes before half-time. Chanatip Songkrasin did exceptionally well to find Teerasil from the left-flank but the ex-Almeria forward could only head wide despite facing an open goal.

As for Singapore, their best chance in the first half came very early on in the game as Khairul Amri found space to unleash a shot from the left edge of the box. Unfortunately, Thailand’s Kawin did well to save it.

But they had a better chance on the 62nd minute of the match. Khairul Amri showed tremendous vision to find Juma’at Jantan, who unfortunately failed to connect with the ball, despite only having the goalkeeper to beat inside the box. Chanatip Songkrasin then tried his luck with a shot, though Hassan Sunny dealt with it impressively. On the other end, Kawin produced another comfortable save to deny Khairul Amri on the 82nd minute.

The turning point however arrived on the 89th minute mark. Theerathon Bunmanthan produced an inch-perfect cross from the right flank, and substitute Sarawut Masuk timed his jump to perfection before flicking the ball into the back of the net to send the Thai fans into frenzy mode.

This victory effectively puts them into the semi-final of the tournament, while V. Sundramoorthy will now be required to revitalize his squad ahead of their must-win clash against Indonesia this Friday.

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