By Ivan Saldajeno
BINAN--Thailand just made the semifinal race in Group B of the Southeast Asian Games men's football tournament wilder after blanking Singapore, 3-0, at the Binan Football Stadium on Sunday night.
A first half surge was all Thailand needed to get the full three points and momentarily force a three-way tie at the top of the group.
Jaroensak Wonggorn opened the account with an eighth minute goal. Suphanat Mueanta added another goal in the 19th minute, and Peerawat Akkratum capped the scoring with a 36th minute strike.
Thailand is now tied with Vietnam and Indonesia in first place with six points, but Vietnam still owns the tiebreaker with the best goal difference of plus-11. Thailand is second in the tiebreaker with plus-8.
However, either Vietnam or Indonesia will end the night at number one as both teams will face off later Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Only the top two teams from each group will move on to the knockout crossover semifinals.
Speaking of the RMS, Laos and Brunei played at the said venue also on Sunday with the former prevailing, 3-0, in another Group B action.
Soukaphone Vongchiengkham put Laos ahead with an 18th minute goal. The team eventually pulled away after Bounphachan Bounkong tallied a brace in the 52nd and the 67th minutes.
Laos kept its flickering playoff hopes alive as the team moved up to fourth place with four points, two behind Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia for the meantime. Brunei remained winless after three matches and is now on the brink of elimination.
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