|Good try: Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh vies for a ball with Thailand's Tristan Do during their World Cup qualifier yesterday in Ha Noi. Thailand won 3-0. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Thailand beat Viet Nam 3-0 to lead the group F in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers at Ha Noi's My Dinh Stadium yesterday.
Thailand ranked top in the group with 10 points after three wins and one draw, five points ahead of runners-up Iraq, who will play Taiwan in the last game of the table.
The win at away home turf helped Thailand advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The visitors started the game slowly, but suddenly found their first chance in the 18th minute when striker Teerasil Dangda launched a close-range shot, but Vietnamese keeper Tran Nguyen Manh saved it.
Strikers Le Cong Vinh and Mac Hong Quan did their best to equalise the score after the first loss, but their shots went wide out the bar.
Thai striker Kroekrit Thaweekarn opened the score for Thailand in the 29th minute with teamwork from Dangda.
Having drawn the first blood, Thailand kept their momentum and dominated with powerful attacks.
Pokkhao Anan fired a long-range shot to hit the bar in the last minute of the first half as Thailand led the first half 1-0.
Japanese coach Toshyia Miura sent two strikers to boost attacks in the second half, but Thai coach Kiatisak Senamuang set up a strong defence.
In the 56th minute, Vietnamese defender Dinh Tien Thanh made his own goal in an attempt to block a cross from Thailand's Kroekrit Thaweekarn.
Having the advantage with a 2-0 lead, Thailand controlled most of the game.
Captain Theerathorn Bunmathan scored a goal in the 70th to complete a convincing win for Thailand.
The hosts made some good efforts in the last several minutes, but they failed to net a single goal in the game.
Viet Nam has taken only two wins and four draws in 20 matches against Thailand since 1995. — VNS