SINGAPORE – The Harimau Malaya (national squad) have an uphill task to qualify for the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 after losing 2-3 to Thailand in their second Group B match at the Jalan Besar Stadium here last night.
Malaysia must win at all costs against Group B hosts Singapore in their final group match at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday to have any chance of making the cut.
For Thailand, with their second win yesterday, have confirmed a place in the semifinals along with the Philippines from Group A.
Malaysia were held to a goalless draw in their first match against Myanmar as the same venue on Sunday while Thailand edged Singapore 2-1 in the opening match of the group at the National Stadium the same day.
Thailand will play their final group match against Myanmar at the Jalan Besar Stadium this Saturday.
In last night’s match, Thailand coached by Kiatisuk Senamuang dominated at the start so much so Malaysia were pinned down in their half and hardly able to have shots at the Thai goal.
However, luck seemed to favour the Harimau Malaya who opened scoring through Mohd Amri Yahyah in the 28th minute after he took advantage of a lapse in concentration in the Thai defence.
However, the advantage did not last long as the “War Elephants” equalised with a brilliant touch by substitute Adisak Kraisorn in the 42nd minute.
In the second half, it was a repeat of the same in the beginning with Malaysia going ahead despite the run of play with Safiq Rahim finding the net in the 60th minute after a dazzling solo effort.
But the resilient Thais again erased Malaysia’s advantage when Charyl Yannic Chappuis fired home a piledriver in the 72nd minute.
Adisak was the toast of the Thais when he netted the winner in the 90th minute to ensure’s Thailand’s place in the semifinals despite having to play one more match.
The match was supposed to have started at 5pm but kicked off almost three hours later because of a heavy thunderstorm.
Meanwhile, Singapore, who are the defending champions, secured their first victory when they defeated Myanmar 4-2 at the National Stadium.
Singapore’s goals were netted by Shaiful Esah Nain (15th min), Hariss Harun (35′, 42′) and an own goal by Khin Maung Lwin (75′) while Myanmar’s were contributed by Kyaw Zayar Win (55′) and Kyaw Ko Ko (62′- penalty). – Bernama