Thailand’s youngsters went down 5-3 to Uzbekistan in an entertaining Group D clash at the AFC U-16 Championship in India on Saturday.
Uzbekistan 5-3 Thailand
Jinnawat Russamee gave Thailand the lead after just two minutes, but that was only the start of what would turn out to be an explosive affair.
The Uzbekis hit back strongly, grabbing a 2-1 lead at the break thanks to penalties from Abubakir Muyidnov and Rasul Yuldoshov after some ill-discipline from the Thai defence.
The referee awarded another penalty – to Thailand this time – early in the second half, but Songwut Kraikruan could not convert from the spot.
Uzbekistan then made it 3-1 as Yuldoshov picked up his second of the night, only for Arnon Prasongporn to pull one back for Thailand immediately after.
The Uzbekis then all but killed off the game as Mardon Abdullaev made it 4-2 before Yuldoshov completed his hat-trick minutes before the final whistle.
To Thailand’s credit, they did not lie down, and Arnon would grab his second in stoppage time – bringing a bit more respectability to the scoreline.
DPR Korea 2-0 Yemen
Earlier, reigning AFC U-16 champions DPR Korea started off the defence of their title with a 2-0 victory over Yemen in the Group D opener.
Captain Kim Pom-hyok was the hero for his side, scoring both goals at GMC Stadium to secure all three points.
After a scoreless first-half which saw the Koreans gradually gain the upper hand, Kim Pom-hyok finally broke the deadlock in the 60th minute, latching onto a lofted pass from Yun Min before beating his man and firing past goalkeeper Aiman Al Suraihi.
DPR Korea continued to dominate and were rewarded with their second of the evening 15 minutes from time, Kim Pom-hyok scoring with a pinpoint free-kick from 35 yards out.
Yemen were awarded a penalty a few minutes later when Ri Il-ju brought down substitute Jassar, but the striker’s spot kick was saved by Sin Tae-song and DPR Korea held on for the deserved win.