Ben Davis has come back to haunt former country Singapore by opening the scoring for Thailand in their emphatic 5-0 Group B win on Monday, as the 16-time record gold medallists picked up their first points at the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Davis, who is technically still a Singaporean citizen but defaulted on the country's mandatory national service in order to further his professional career -- then opting to switch his international footballing allegiance to Thailand -- opened the scoring at the Thien Truong Stadium on the stroke of halftime when he converted from the penalty spot after baiting Syahrul Sazali into bringing him down inside the area.
Three minutes after the restart, Thailand doubled their lead when opposition defender Harhys Stewart -- in a bid to block a low cross by Worachit Kanitsribampen -- only managed to divert the ball into his own goal.
The contest was effectively over in the 51st minute when the Thais capitalised on some indecisive defending to add a third through Ekanit Panya, who swept the ball home from close range after Worachit's cut-back was helped into his path by Patrik Gustavsson.
Ekanit then struck again six minutes after the hour mark when he was afforded just too much time and space by Singapore, who allowed him to make his way down the left and into the area before clinically dispatching a shot beyond Zaiful Nizam's despairing dive.
And with nine minutes remaining, substitute Korawich Tasa reacted quickest to a low cross into the six-yard box to stab the ball home from point-blank range and finish the rout for the War Elephants.
Cambodia cruise past Laos for opening win at SEA Games
Cambodia got their Group B campaign off to a flyer with a 4-1 win over Laos on Monday.
The result ensured the Thais bounced back from their opening loss to Malaysia on Saturday and move level at the top of Group B with them and Cambodia, who belatedly opened their campaign earlier on Monday with a 4-1 victory over Laos.
After Ky Rina added a third in the 63rd minute, Phouvieng Phounsavath pulled one back for the Laotians four minutes later but any hopes of a miraculous comeback were quashed with Im Somoun netting in the 71st minute to steady the ship for Cambodia.