The 5-0 scoreline said it all. And while Thailand may have been a little slow off the block in their previous matches, they were all business in the final of the AFF HDBank Futsal Championship this evening as they hit Indonesia for five to pick up their eighth title in a row, 15th overall.
The third-ranked team in Asia currently confirmed their dominance in ASEAN with two goals in the first half before adding three more after the break for the comprehensive victory over their ambitious opponents from Indonesia.
“It was a hard game. We controlled the first 15 minutes but after taking the 2-0 lead, we lost focus and there were some defensive lapse. We should have taken better control and not lose possession so easily,” said Thailand head coach Jose Mendez.
“That allowed Indonesia the chance to go into the counter-attack several times. Luckily for us, they were not able to score.”
But the odds of winning their second silverware since 2010 were always stacked against Indonesia as even though they have made improvements over the last two years, the Thais were just in their element.
They were passing the ball around with ease at the start as they controlled the pace of the game and pushed Indonesia into defensive mode.
And with Indonesia unable to get inside the Thai backline as their attacks were often broke down midway, it was Thailand who seized the chance to carve open the first goal of the game in the tenth minute.
A corner from Kritsada Wongkaeo saw the irrepressible Muhammad Osamanmusa stabbing home to give cheer to the small band of Thais supporters.
The goal pushed Thailand into a higher gear as it forced Indonesia to make mistakes and as the fouls notched up further, they were punished in the 17th minute when striker Supawut Thueanklang fired in from the second penalty mark.
With the 2-0 advantage, the Thais stepped off the gas somewhat but in spite of the chances they created, Indonesia just can’t seem to make any of it count as their frustration grew all the way into the second half.
The best they could muster after the restart was a shot from Muhammad Rizki Xavier in the 23rd minute that bounced off a Thai defender and hit the post.
That miss would prove to be costly as a minute later; Thailand went further ahead with a quick counter with Ronnachai Jungwongsuk providing the assist and Warut Wangsama-aoe the finish.
Indonesia continued to press forward but either they had to contend with a recovering defender or was denied by keeper Kanison Phoopun who made several crucial saves.
With little choice, Indonesia introduced power play.
But the Thais were well prepared as they pressed Indonesia in the 35th minute with a three-way combo between Osamanmusa and Apiwat Chaemcharoen saw Kritsada providing the last touch for the finish.
And right at the end, Indonesia’s power-play broke down again as Kritsada made a fine finish for a fine evening for the Thais.
“We made some mistakes in the first half and we can ill afford to do that against a side like Thailand,” said Indonesia head coach Kensuke Takahashi afterwards.
“We played better in the second half but several decisions that went against us, made the players lose focus. At the end of the day, Thailand were just more experienced.”
IN THE MEANTIME, Vietnam emerged third in the competition when they beat Myanmar 7-3 in the classification match to punch in the third ticket from ASEAN to book their place in the AFC Futsal Championship 2020 in Turkmenistan.
Vietnam made up for the disappointment of not making the final this year with a more composed performance even though the score had stood 2-2 at the break.
The home team’s two goals off Tran Thai Huy – both in the sixth minute – were cancelled out by Myanmar’s Naing Ye Kyaw (9th minute) and Kyaw Soe Moe (16th).
“I told the players at the break, that we trained very hard to reach this moment. But the last ten minutes of the first half, we played like kids, tense and nervous,” said Vietnam head coach Miguel Rodriogo. “We need to play like a family; we need to support each other. And they responded after the break.”
Vietnam certainly as after some hard pressing, they went ahead in the 23rd minute through Nhan Gia Hung as just five minutes later, Tran Van Vu converted a penalty after he was brought down inside the box.
And although Myanmar managed to close the gap to 4-3 with Ye Kyaw finishing a power play on 32 minute, the rest of the match belonged to Vietnam.
They added three more goals to give some cheer to the home fans off goals from Pham Duc Hoa (33rd), Van Vu (38th) and Nguyen Minh Tri (39th).
“The first half was 50-50. But the several individual mistakes cost us,” quipped Myanmar head coach Htay Myint afterwards.
FINAL: Thailand 5 Indonesia 0
Third / Fourth Placing: Vietnam 7 Myanmar 3