AFC U-16 qualifiers review: Thailand and North Korea rack up big wins
Only the winner of the group will be guaranteeed a spot in the finals, but the opening day results have given the two regional champions a strong chance of making it to India next September.
Friday's matches will pit Cambodia against Thailand, before Singapore face off against North Korea.
North Korea 7 Cambodia 0
North Korea were in a merciless mood as they plundered seven goals without reply in the opening game of these qualifiers at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium.
Kung Jin Song got the defending champions off the mark after just six minutes as he volleyed home Yun Min’s free kick, before Kwon Nam Hyok blasted a 25-yard scorcher past Cambodia keeper Heng Tina in the 28th minute.
Kim Chung Jin was then left unmarked two minutes before the break to nod home Kim Pom Hyok’s deep cross for the third goal on the night.
The goals kept coming after the break with Kim Kyong Sok curling a sweet strike into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box after some neat passes in the 49th minute.
Four minutes later, it was 5-0 as Kung Jin Song capitalised on a loose ball inside the area to beat Tina at his near post.
Kim Chung Jin got his second goal on 58 minutes as he bamboozled his marker before firing home via a deflection.
Midfielder Kung Jin Song then completed his hat-trick and an emphatic rout 18 minutes from time as he latched on to a long ball before slotting past the stranded Tina from close range.
Thailand 5 Singapore 0
Having won the AFF U-16 Championship just three weeks ago, Thailand came into the game full of confidence and duly handed hosts Singapore a footballing lesson.
Korawich Tasa opening the scoring in the 17th minute, the winger capitalising on some uncertain Singapore defending to thump home a 25-yard volley.
Hotshot Jinnawat Russamee joined in on the act 11 minutes later as he skipped past Singapore centre-back Syed Akmal just inside the area before curling his effort into the bottom right corner.
Jinnawat grabbed his second and his side’s third on the stroke of half-time as he finished emphatically from close range after Singapore keeper Kevin Wong had parried Tharadon Sornyoha’s snap-shot.
Korawich then scored twice after the break to round off the victory and take home the match ball.
First he went on a superb solo run which ended with a shot into the bottom corner in the 59th minute, before proceeding to side-foot underneath a helpless Wong after exchanging quick passes with Hassanwat 13 minutes later.
Photo: Football Association of Singapore