Nike Match Report : Thailand 3-1 Vietnam

The 'War Elephants', who rested the likes of captain Panupong Wongsa and Teerasil Dangda, kept the Viets largely at bay during the opening period of the half.

The closest Vietnam came to scoring was through Cao SY Cuong's vicious swerving effort which shaved the top of the bar in the eigth minute.

Thailand then took the lead through their only meaningful attack of the half, Kirati Keawsaumbut stabbing home Appipo's low cross in the 20th minute.

Nguyen Quang Hai found his shooting range for Vietnam just before the end of the half, but Thailand goalkeeper Kawin was more than equal to his effort.

Vietnam were expected to come back stronger in the second half, but they looked staggeringly pedestrian as Keratin almost scored his second of the night, only to see his header cleared off the line by a back-pedalling Vietnam defender.

The striker eventually got his brace just after the hour mark, stealing in between a static Vietnam defence to find the bottom corner and put Thailand two nil to the good.

Arthit Sunthornphit then handed the visitors somewhat of a lifeline, getting himself sent-off for a needless lunge.

Vietnam took advantage of the gap in their opponents defence to reduce the deficit in the 72nd minute, Van Quyet Nguyen heading home unmarked despite looking marginally offfside

Any hopes of a miracle comeback soon evaporated when a Thailand corner bounced off an unlucky Gia Tu Nguyen, restoring the home side's two goal cushion.

That was the last action of the match as Thailand ended the game deserved 3-1 winners to book their semi-final spot as group winners, while 2008 champions Vietnam go home with their tail in between their legs, after a dismal Suzuki Cup campaign.


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