By Olmin Leyba
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Under-21 football team absorbed a 0-2 setback to Thailand Under-19 side Sunday night in the fifth Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) at Balapan Track and Field in Berakas, Brunei.
Chenrop Samphaodi blasted it home in the 58th minute while Chaowat Veerachat connected in injury time as the Thais rebounded from their previous 2-3 setback to Myanmar U-19 for three points in Group A.
The Filipinos remained with one point after their 2-2 draw with Laos U-21 Friday.
“I would have liked a couple of goals. Our finishing is not right but apart from that, I’m not disappointed,” Phl coach Jim Fraser was quoted by the Brunei Times.
“I always try to look at the game and not just the score… The score, we got beat but the game for us was good,” he added.
The U-21 Azkals engaged the U-19 Thais in a tight contest in the first half and got scoring chances through Azkal OJ Porteria and Paolo Salenga. But the Thais cranked it up in the last 45 minutes and took command.
“(In the) Second half we dropped off a bit…Thailand is a very good team. They are well organized, coached and disciplined. They took their chances when they got it, we had to press forward and they got the second goal but I thought it was a really good game, it was hard,” said Fraser.
Chenrop cashed in on the low cross by Supravee Miprathang to break the scoreless tie in the 58th.
Phl got in a position to equalize in the 89th but Kenshiro Daniel fired it wide off the post.
The Thais struck again at the fourth minute of stoppage time, with Chaowat tapping it home after Nopphon Phonkam’s shot was deflected by Phl keeper Patrick Deyto.
Meanwhile, Myanmar trounced Timor Leste, 3-1, to chalk up their second consecutive win and six points.