SINGAPORE - Thailand exacted revenge for their defeat to Singapore in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup final as a late penalty by Charyl Chappuis gave them a 2-1 win over the defending champions in their opening match in Group B on Sunday.
Chappuis converted from the spot a minute from time at the National Stadium after the Swiss-born player's cross from the right had been handled by Safuwan Baharuddin.
The Thais had made an excellent start to the game, taking the lead after nine minutes when Prakit Deeprom capitalised on slack Singapore defending to centre the ball for Mongkol Totsakrai to fire the ball into the roof of the net.
But the home side got back on level terms in the 20th minute when Shaiful Esah sent over an inviting cross for Khairul Amri whose thunderous header gave goalkeeper Kawin Thammasatchanan no chance.
Both teams had their opportunities to win the match with Sahil Suhaimi testing Kawin, and Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny making an excellent save to turn aside a long-range effort by Sarach Yooyen before Chappuis' late heroics.
Earlier on Sunday, Malaysia held Myanmar to a goalless draw in the Group B opener at Jalan Besar Stadium despite being a player down for more than half the game.
In a match that was delayed for an hour because of a lightning alert, the 2010 champions were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute when Gary Robbat was sent off after the midfielder received his second yellow card.
But the Tigers dug in against a Myanmar onslaught in the closing minutes to grab a share of the points.