AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers - Group B
FridayThailand 0-3 Iran
Kuwait 0-0 Lebanon
TuesdayKuwait 3-1 Thailand
Lebanon 1-4 Iran
Current Standings (after 5 matches):
Iran easily swept aside a lackluster Thai team with a 3-0 victory at the sparsely filled Rajamangala Stadium. The first half performance was one of the poorest displays in recent memory with soft defending gifting the Iranians a 2-0 lead. Iran seemed to take their foot off the gas after the break and Thailand improved but rarely tested the Iranian goalkeeper.
Substitute Puwadol was given a straight red card in injury time and shortly afterwards Iran added a third goal.
Edit: Results on Tuesday mean Iran and Kuwait qualify from Group B.
Div 2 Playoffs
Group APitsanulok 3-0 Nara Utd
Prachuap 2-2 Kasetsart
Roi Et Utd 4-0 Luk Esan
Results on Saturday left Roi Et and Phitsanulok certainties for promotion. The big clash of the round was comfortably won by Phitsanulok as they beat Nara Utd 3-0. Somlak gave the northern club the lead shortly after the half hour and that was doubled midway through the second half when Bani's drive found the bottom corner of the net. Gil Neves put the icing on the cake with a penalty in the last few minutes. The victory moves Phitsanulok four points ahead of third placed Nara Utd.
Roi Et are seven points clear of third place after they romped to a 4-0 victory over what appears to be a uninterested Luk Esan. Erivaldo opened the scoring in the 24th minute before Kittisak doubled the advantage six minutes later. By half time it was game over when Erivaldo's penalty made it 3-0. The only goal of the second half came from Thongchai's header via a corner.
The 2-2 draw between Prachuap and Kasetsart extinguishes the Bangkok side's faint hopes of making it to Division 1.
Group BAng Thong 1-1 Sukhothai
Paknampo NSRU 5-1 Nakhon Nayok
Udon Thani 2-1 Chiang Mai
If Group A is a forgone conclusion, Group B is anything but.
Udon Thani maintained their 100% home record after they consigned Chiang Mai to their first defeat. The away side started the brighter and they were rewarded in the 14th minute when Chatchai fired his shot inside the post. However, Satja drilled through a cluster of bodies to level shortly before the interval and Udon Thani's winner came nine minutes from time when Wiraphong curled home a free kick.
Paknampo NSRU moved into second place with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Nakhon Nayok. Rewit gave NSRU an early lead but that was wiped out in the 22nd minute when the unsuspecting Anurak was credited with an own goal after the ball bounced off his back following a goalkeeper fumble. It remained level until the midpoint of the second half but that changed when Rewit grabbed his second of the day. Tiene Moussa then headed into his own net before late goals from Camara Souleymane and Jaruwat completed the rout.
On Saturday, Ang Thong were seconds away from claiming a vital three points. Nuttawat had headed Ang Thong into a first half lead and it seemed as full time approached that the Rice Warriors had dug in for the win despite being under the cosh for the majority of the second half. Sukhothai didn't throw in the towel when Titi's 87th minute dismissal had them reduced to ten men. Instead the kept plugging away and they were rewarded in the 95th minute when Bruno headed a deserved leveller.
Chiang Mai remain top with 14 points with NSRU and Ang Thong on 11. They are closely followed by Sukhothai and Udon Thani on 9. Nakhon Nayok are well adrift at the bottom with 4.