Thailand Dashes Burma’s SEA Games Gold Hopes With 3-0 Win

By Andrew D. Kaspar 15 June 2015

RANGOON — A spirited performance was not enough for Burma at the Southeast Asian Games football gold medal match on Monday night, with the under-23 underdogs falling to Thailand 3-0.

The favored Thais appeared to have the edge in the early going, controlling possession and moving the ball with relative ease through the midfield and into their attacking third at Singapore’s National Stadium.

A one-handed save from keeper Kyaw Zin Phyo in the 7th minute prevented the Burmese from going down a goal early, but a scrappy Burma side made a game of it as play progressed, forcing several nervous moments for the Thai defense.

Burma got its first real chance of the match in the 27th minute, when Nay Lin Tun snagged a through ball to put a shot on goal that the Thai goalkeeper Chanin Sae-ear parried wide and over the end line.

His Burmese counterpart was called into action early and often, including a stop in the 42nd minute from close-range and a save in the dying seconds of first-half stoppage time that prevented what could have been a devastating blow to the Burmese side’s gold medal prospects.

That blow would instead come eight minutes into the second half, when a corner kick took a fortuitous bounce for Tanaboon Kesarat, who deftly fired the ball past the Burmese keeper to put the Thais up 1-0.

Chananan Pombubpha doubled the deficit in the 63rd minute, running onto a smart through ball that left him alone with the keeper and well-positioned to direct the ball far post and into the back of the net.

Pinyo Inpinit all but sealed the deal in the 78th minute for the favorites Thailand.

Monday’s defeat to defending champion Thailand capped an unexpected SEA Games campaign for Burma that saw the team go undefeated in the group stage before beating Vietnam 2-1 on Saturday to earn a shot at the gold medal.

Burma last played for the gold in 2007, when it also came up short to then host Thailand. It’s been more than four decades since Burma won its last gold, in the 1973 iteration of the biennial competition.