Phnom Penh: Thailand booked their place in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFF U22 Championship following their 3-0 win over the Philippines in Group A at the National Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Two goals in the first half and then another after the break gave Thailand – the winners of the inaugural tournament in 2005 – the maximum six points from two matches played.
In spite of the bearing heat, Thailand showed no signs of letting things slide as they took the early initiative to push forward.
And just three minutes into the game, they found the opener when Jaroensak beat the offside trap to fire the ball past Philippines custodian Michael Cangco Asong.
The Philippines were struggling to contain the speedy Thai forwards and could not stop them from adding to the scoreline in the 12th minute with Kittipong Sansanit providing the cross and Jedsadakorn Kowngam nodding the ball in from close.
The Philippines finally came alive in the second half as Mark Winhoffer used his physical presence to his advantage. But with the lack of support upfront and Rico Andres lacking that precision with the crosses, it was going to be a struggle.
The best that the Philippines could muster was a well-taken free-kick from Winhoffer right at the hour mark but which came off the crossbar instead.
And seven minutes to the end, Thailand wrapped things up with their third goal of the game when captain Saringkan Promsupa burst through for a stiff grounder past Asong.
“It was a much better performance than what we showed in the first game (against Timor Leste). But the heat was really intense today," said Jaroensak Wonggorn.
Meanwhile, the Philippines' captain Dimitri Limbo said: “Thailand were every bit as what we expected them to be. But we tried very hard to match them and I thought that we came close in the second half.”
The young War Elephants will take on Vietnam in their final Group A match on Thursday, while the Philippines play Timor Leste.
Philippines 0-3 Thailand
Group B (Local time)
Indonesia v Malaysia (15:30)
Cambodia v Myanmar (18:30)
Source: Asean Football FederationSource: the-afc.com