Thailand Under-23 team got off to a winning start in the Bangabandhu Cup football tournament when they beat a spirited Singapore Under-23 team 3-2 at the Sylhet District Stadium on Friday. Thailand, who are the second top ranked team in the tournament, led the first half 2-0 before Singapore leveled the margin within eight minutes into the second half. But Thai skipper Parmpak Pakron broke the heart of Singapore team in 80th minute to seal the deal.
Thailand put pressure to their neighbours Singapore from the beginning and took the lead in the very fifth minute.
Sensomaiad Adisak headed on a Kana Narakon corner from left into the net past Singapore goalie Mohamed Zulfairuuz.
Thailand doubled the lead in the half hour mark when Srina Wong Chayawat sent the ball home with an angular placing shot from just inside the box following a cut back of Pakron.
Singapore reduced the margin in the 49th minute through Iqram Rifqi, who snatched the ball from substitute defender Saipanya Tanakon from the edge of the box to dribble past two defenders before placing the ball home past Thai goalie Yos Somporn.
Singapore scored the equaliser just four minutes later when Taufik Bin Suparno sent the rebound from Thai goalie home after a cross was headed to the path of the goalie by a Thai defender.
But the Thai side finally left the field with full three points in the 80th minute when skipper Pakron placed the ball home from edge of the box following a pass from his team-mate.
Thai coach Phomrat Choktavee admitted that his side were lucky to earn full three points.
‘We were lucky to come out with a win,’ Choktavee told reporters after the match.
‘We played well in the first half as we took the two-goal lead. But I must give credit to the young Singapore team, who put the pressure on our defenders to level the margin.’
Singapore head coach Richard Bob Kok Chuan hailed his charges for the way they played after conceding two goals.
‘We were bit sloppy in the first half and conceded two goals,’ he said. ‘But I’m satisfied with the overall performance because Thailand are a very strong side.’
Both Singapore and Thailand will leave Sylhet today for Dhaka to take part in their second group match against Bahrain, scheduled to be held on February 1 and 3 respectively at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
-With New Age input