Thailand U15 5 Singapore U15 0: Hosts outclassed by AFF champs

The Singapore under-15 side was given a footballing lesson by its Thai counterparts as it went down 5-0 in the opening match of the AFC U16 Championship Group H Qualifiers on Wednesday night.

Korawich Tasa finished with a hit-trick while Jinnawat Russamee added a brace as the Thais, who won the AFF U16 championship a month ago, ran out resounding winners in front of 945 fans at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Singapore started off well and had the lion’s share of the early possession, but it was the Thais who created the first clear-cut opportunity of the night.

Visiting captain Hassanwat Nopnate played a superb free-kick into the area for Jinnawat on 13 minutes, but the forward headed just wide of the mark.

It was the Singaporeans’ turn two minutes later when left-back Jordan Vestering (pictured above) squared a teasing ball into the box, but forward Glenn Kweh sliced his effort high into the Jalan Besar floodlights.

He would live to rue that miss as the young Thais broke the deadlock in the 17th minute.

Right-back Sumana Salapphet’s deep cross was only headed clear into the path of Korawich, who unleashed a blistering first-time volley past Singapore keeper Kevin Wong from 25 yards out.

Buoyed by the strike, the visitors then doubled their advantage 11 minutes later.

Jinnawat latched on to Hassanwat’s volleyed pass, got past Singapore centre-back Syed Akmal just inside the area before curling unerringly beyond the reach of Wong.

V Selvaraj’s Cubs tried to muster a comeback but Khairie Abdul Hamid’s freekick was easily held by Thai keeper Wutthipong Thiangthae, while Kweh’s hopeful long shot sailed wide of the right-hand post.

Instead it was the Thais who managed to extend their lead to three on the stroke of half-time as Jinnawat thumped home from close range after Wong had parried Tharadon Sornyoha’s snapshot.

Matin Mohamad then came on to replace Rezza Ramadhani as the Cubs looked to turn things around in the second half.

Syed Akmal headed Khairie’s inswinging corner over before Joel Chew’s close-range shot drew a diving save from Wutthipong.

Failing to put away those opportunities gave the visitors the impetus to push forward with Korawich scoring another two to complete his treble.

The winger slotted neatly into the bottom left corner on 59 minutes after a superb solo run, then exchanged quick passes with Hassanwat before side-footing underneath the stranded Wong 13 minutes later.

That rounded off the scoring for the night as Selvaraj lamented his side’s lack of ‘killer instinct’ at the post-match press conference.

“The result is definitely harsh for us,” said the former national team defender.

“We did create a few chances and had a few good combination plays, but we just cannot put the ball in the back of the net. You can see the Thais showed a lot of composure in front of goal and that is where we need to learn.

”What went wrong for us was that we conceded three early goals which left us with a mountain to climb and helped to calm their nerves.”

Meanwhile Thai coach Payong Khunnen believes his boys were physically and mentally superior as compared to the hosts.

”I believe we have the confidence for this game because we just became champions of AFF,” he said.

”Maybe that’s why Singapore was a bit concerned when they played with us. Also physically, we were stronger than them. ”

Photo courtesy of Football Association of Singapore