Thailand trounce Singapore 4-0
Defending champions outclass Singapore to set up final clash with Timor Leste
They had only one goal on their minds, which was to bring home the football gold medal from the Asean University Games.
The boys from Thailand are one match away from achieving their goal, after they thrashed Singapore 4-0 in their semi-final match at Nanyang Technological University main field yesterday.
The defending champions will take on dark horses Timor Leste in the final tomorrow.
"We are aiming for the gold medal, but we know that the final will not be an easy game," said Krit Singprecha, who has been the head coach of Thailand in their previous three appearances in the Asean University Games.
"I can assure you that my boys will be giving of their best for the final as this is an important game for us.
"Timor Leste are a strong team and we will need to create even more chances if we want to score against a team like them."
There was no stopping the Thais yesterday, as Kroekpon Kaewmuean scored the opening goal in the 27th minute after a defensive mistake from the men in red left the midfielder unmarked.
Another defensive error three minutes from the break saw forward Anusak Laosangthai extend the lead for the Thais.
"To be honest, we were wary of Singapore because they were the host nation and anything could happen," Krit said.
"I told the boys that they had to keep their focus. When we scored the first goal, we could relax a little.
"We went into the second half with less pressure and we were able to play the game that we wanted to."
Singapore introduced former LionsXII player Randy Pay in a bid to change things around.
But the Thais showed their class and stretched their lead to 3-0 in the 72nd minute from Prasert Phoommala's diving header.
Prasert scored his second of the game four minutes before the end after he was left unmarked in the box.
Malaysia lost 2-1 to Timor Leste in the other semi-final yesterday and will face Singapore in the bronze-medal match tomorrow.
Singapore will be out to seek revenge after losing 1-0 to the Malaysians in a group match on Monday.
"It was unfortunate that we lost to them in the group stage, but I would say that we definitely have a higher chance at beating them this time round," said Arasu Muthu Suppiah, head coach of the Singapore side at the Asean University Games.
"For both our losses, we lost because of set-pieces. In terms of play, I thought we dominated both games.
"If we can strengthen our defence during set-pieces, we should be able to beat the Malaysians."
At press time, Thailand lead the medal tally with 27 golds, 17 silvers and 14 bronzes.
Indonesia are second with 19 golds and Malaysia (13 golds) are third.
Singapore are lying fourth with 12 golds, seven silvers and 13 bronzes.
TNP Euro 2016 Goal of the Tournament contest
The New Paper ran a contest to ask readers to pick the best goal of Euro 2016.
Tan Eng Hoe (last four NRIC digits: 8645) has been picked as the winner in a random draw for voting Xherdan Shaqiri's overhead-kick goal for Switzerland against Poland as the best goal of Euro 2016.
He will receive a free ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK Annual Pass* worth $214.90 - his ticket to a year's worth of English Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Serie A and many more exciting sporting action around the world.
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