Thailand Defended 28th SEA Games Football Title
It was a final which many would have expected the Thais to walk away with the gold medal comfortably. Yes, Thailand did so as per what many would have been expecting them to do so,
It was a final which many would have expected the Thais to walk away with the gold medal comfortably. Yes, Thailand did so as per what many would have been expecting them to do so, but Myanmar did not give in without a hard fight.
Thailand started the game patiently building up from the back. It was actually Myanmar team which had been firing at their opponent with plenty of fast and hard runs! However, it was Thailand who nearly drew the first blood in the 6th minute. Chananan Pumbubpha (no-23) broke free at the 12-yards but saw his weak shot easily saved by Myanmar custodian, Kyaw Zin Phyo (no-1).
In the 19th minute, Thailand’s Rungrat Phumichantuk (no-29) was brought down at the edge of the penalty box. Chonburi’s Nurul Srivankem (no-12) stood up and saw his attempt at goal well saved by the Magway’s Goalkeeper once again.
The real chance to break the deadlock came in the 42nd minute. Fans’ favorite, Chanathip Songkrasin (no-18) showed some neat footworks before putting Thitiphan Puangjan (no-7) open, but the latter saw his close shot parried off to safety by Myanmar’s Goalkeeper.
At the end of the first 45minutes, Myanmar’s tactic of stretching the Thais worked well under the loud and ear deafening cheering from the Myanmar stand. Both Thailand and Myanmar shook hands for a goalless draw at half time.
The second 45 minute was a completely different story. The team in Blue stepped up their game and the pressure on Myanmar’s defence was immediately felt. Although Zin Phyo had a marvelous night in between the goal for his country, he could not stop the gruesome night from taking place at its goal. A poor corner clearing from Myanmar in the 54th minute found Tanaboon Kesarat (no-17) unmarked. The Defender picked up the loose ball and slammed it into the goal beyond Goalkeeper’s reach to give Thailand the long awaited lead!
10 minutes later, Chananan was put through on goal by Chanathip and the Muanthong United’s striker wasted no chance by slotting it home to double Thailand’s lead! Myanmar’s Captain, Nay Lin Tun (no-8) almost replied immediately but saw his direct free-kick sailed just over Thailand’s goal. That could have probably summed up Myanmar’s night indeed.
It was almost all over in the 78th minute when substitute, Pinyo Inpinit (no-11) broke free on the left and squeezed a shot pass Myanmar’s Goalkeeper to make it 3-0 to Thailand! The shot seems to have taken a little deflection off a Defender’s leg but none of the Thai fans in the near 31,000 attendance really cared.
7 minutes of injury time added but there was no fairytale ending for Myanmar. Thailand successfully defended their title and bagged the gold medal in front of both their fans as well as the sporty and entertaining Myanmar fans. Once again, Thailand won the gold medal but Myanmar fans have certainly won our hearts.