SEA Games Review: Myanmar and Thailand set up repeat of 2007 final

In Saturday night’s 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football tournament semi-finals, Myanmar upset Vietnam 2-1 while Thailand demolished Indonesia 5-0.

Myanmar and Vietnam therefore set up third first SEA Games football final between themselves, after the ones in 2007 and 1993 – the latter also being the year Singapore last hosted the Games.

Myanmar 2 Vietnam 1


Despite being largely under the cosh for the majority of the first half, it was Myanmar who went ahead on 38 minutes.

Captain Nay Lin Tun’s free-kick was adjudged to be handled inside the box by Ho Ngoc Thang. Talisman Si Thu Aung coolly converted from the spot to record his fifth goal of the tournament, overtaking Thailand’s Chananan Pombubpha in the top scorers’ standings.

Vietnam spurned a number of chances to pull level after the break, with main man Mac Hong Quan particularly guilty of leaving his scoring boots at home.

Eventually, Vo Huy Toan came to their rescue on 71 minutes as he found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home Nguyen Cong Phuong’s shot, which inadvertently fell into his path after being parried away.

However, Myanmar were able to retake the lead just seven minutes later, as Lin Tun slalomed into the box before firing a shot that deflected off hapless Vietnam defender Nguyen Thanh Hien and into the net.

The junior White Angels eventually held out for the victory, sparking incredible celebrations amongst Myanmar fans at the final whistle.

Thailand 5 Indonesia 0


It was a much more straightforward affair in the other semi-final as Thailand dominated Indonesia from start to finish.

Left winger Rungrat Phumichantuk sent them on the way against Singapore’s slayers after just 13 minutes, tapping home from close range after following up on Nurul Sriyankem’s parried effort.

The latter was influential in matters again 16 minutes later as his in-swinging corner picked out an unmarked Thitiphan Puangjan, who flicked a superb header beyond the reach of Indonesia keeper Teguh Amiruddin.

The contest was well and truly over five minutes after the restart, with Nurul once again tearing down the right before crossing into the box for Rungrat to head in his second goal of the evening.

Right-back Narubadin Weerawatnodom then joined in the party right before the hour mark as he pushed forward to place home a beautiful finish into the bottom left corner of Indonesia’s net.

The rout was completed in emphatic fashion a minute before full-time as star man Chanathip Songkrasin lashed home a fierce effort after a superb flowing move.

The result means the junior War Elephants have now made it to six finals in the last eight editions of the Games.

Image credit: Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee