Thailand showed that they have the quality to retain the crown they won last year when they crushed Australia 5-1 in the crucial game of Group B of the AFF Vietcombank Under-19 Championship that was played at the Vietnam Youth Football Training Centre.
“The players played with a lot of heart and they were disciplined in sticking to the gameplan that has been decided,” said Thai coach Anuruck Srikerd afterwards.
In the eagerly anticipated tie of the group, Australia again made several positional changes as Thailand chose to play with basically the same side which they had used in the last few matches.
And it did not take long Australia to carve the lead where after Liam Rose unable to make good on a one-to-one situation, George Blackwood grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with a solo effort from inside the box to beat Thai keeper Chakorn Philaklong.
But Thailand maintained their composure and they did not stutter for the 17th minute equaliser with Arthit Kansangwet providing for Sowarit Panthong as he slammed the ball past Australian keeper Jasmin Keranovic.
And three minutes before the break Supachai Chaided nailed the first of his three goals on the night after robbing the ball from Australian defender Patrick Flottmann.
Supachai then grabbed goal No.2 in the 59th minute after receiving a long ball from deep off Wisarut Imura and then completing his hat-trick in the 82nd minute with a delightful chip over Keranovic.
And then deep in injury time, Thai striker Worachit Kanitsribumphen dealt Australia with the fifth goal of the game when he blocked the ball from Keranovic before slotting into an empty goal.
In the meantime the Indonesians had a first win from return to youth football competition by beating Laos. In other match of the day, Myanmar won 3-0 over Cambodia.