Australia pummeled Singapore, while Thailand ran out comfortable winners over Malaysia in Friday’s AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in Asia.
Singapore U-23 0-7 Australia U-23
Australia took a massive step towards securing qualification for the Finals after securing an emphatic 7-0 victory over an outclassed Singapore side at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.
The match was all but over after 20 minutes, as Australia raced into a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals from midfielder Stefan Ingo and striker George Blackwood, who picked up a brace in the space of five minutes.
Six minutes before the break, the Aussies had their fourth via striker Milislav Popovic, who added a fifth on 60 minutes.
Devante Clut then netted from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, before Jaushua Sotirio completed the rout 17 minutes from time.
Singapore coach Richard Tandy said afterwards he took full responsibility for his side’s performance.
“I don’t want to blame my players. We knew that we had to win to keep our chances alive and we tried that,” said Tandy.
“Australia is a very good team, their level today was too high. Especially when you take three goals in the first 20 minutes, it is difficult to continue for the players.
“We made some mistakes and I take full responsibility for today’s loss. We need to focus on the spirit of the players now, their mood will be down. We will try to keep our honour, that is the most important thing.”
The result leaves Singapore still looking for their first point in Group F, while Australia top the group with a full haul of six points from two matches.
FT: SIN ?? 0-7 AUS ??
Australia continue their fine form with a win in the #AFCU23 Qualifiers Group F!
— The-AFC.com (@theafcdotcom) 21 July 2017
Malaysia U-23 0-3 Thailand U-23
Meanwhile, at the National Stadium in Bangkok, the mighty Elephants secured a convincing 3-0 win over the Tigers.
Forced to do without two key players who helped secure an opening victory against Indonesia – goalkeeper Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim and forward Syafiq Ahmad – the Malaysians found themselves thoroughly outplayed.
Chenrop Samphaodi opened the scoring for Thailand in the 23rd minute from close range after a cross from the right was blocked on the line by Adib Zainuddin, falling into his path.
Samphaodi also scored the second just before the break, taking full advantage of a defensive mix-up between the Malaysian defenders at the back to poke home.
The Tigers were better in the second half, but were not able to find the goal that would have gotten them back into the match.
And with five minutes remaining, Phicha Au-Tra outsmarted Malaysia’s offside trap and fired past goalkeeper Amierul Hakimi Awang to make it 3-0.
The result sees Thailand move to the top of Group H with four points from two matches, while Malaysia are still in second with three points, keeping their qualifying hopes alive.