BANGKOK - Thailand and Vietnam booked places in the semi-finals of the Southeast Asian championships after wins in their final Group B games in Phuket on Wednesday.
Thailand finished top with three wins from three after thrashing Malaysia 3-0, while Vietnam advanced with a 4-0 win against Laos to breathe life into their stuttering campaign by finishing as runners-up with six points.
Thailand won a fiery clash littered with fouls and ugly standoffs after Sutee Suksomkit fired them ahead in the 23rd minute from a tight angle with the ball inadvertently helped into the net by Malaysian goalkeeper Syed Adney Hussain.
Teerasil Dangda grabbed the first of his two goals seconds after the break when he picked up a neat pass from Datsakorn Thonglao, rounded Hussein and slotted home. He completed the rout after 76 minutes with a cool finish from 12 metres.
"We're delighted with all the players. We've worked very hard," Thailand coach Peter Reid (pictured) told reporters. "We attack and defend as a team and at the moment we're looking pretty solid."
Three times champions Thailand will play Group A runners-up Indonesia in next week's semi-finals on a home and away basis.
Vietnam will meet holders Singapore after second half goals from Nguyen Viet Thang (48), Pham Luong (63) Huynh Thanh (66) and Phan Thanh Binh (81) earned a victory over lowly Laos.comments