Thailand have been consistent from the start that they want to emerge champions of this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup. And tonight, they moved a step closer to making that dream a reality when they qualified for a record eighth final where they will battle Indonesia.

Thailand, winners in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2014, defeated a spirited Myanmar side 4-0 tonight and 6-0 on aggregate. They will face Indonesia in the first-leg on Dec 14 away and again in the return leg on Dec 17.

“It’s not over yet, today we won but there’s still two more games to go in the final. We have to prepare for that. I brought in Siroch to rest our key players and he delivered a fine goal on his birthday,” said Thai coach Kiatisuk “Zico” Senamuang. “The Myanmar team today is young and they can only get better.”

After securing a comfortable two-goal lead courtesy of star striker Teerasil Dangda, Thailand were not surprisingly in a hurry to get things moving today. For the first 10 minutes, Myanmar were in control with David Htan and Mg Mg Lwin forced their way into the box. While the Thais were not yet pushing all the way, they also did not want to allow their opponents a free run. It was clear that Myanmar were going for an early goal to have a fighting chance tonight.

Thailand, with over 20,000 fans backing them, soon charged back and almost found the opener through Teerasil in the 12th minute but blew over the bar. Teerasil had another great attempt, this time a solid header in the 20th minute but was cleared by the keeper.

David had another crack but it was off the mark but soon after, the Thais shot ahead when Sarawut Masuk, who has scored twice in the group stages, was on target with a lovely header.  

Immediately after the break, the Myanmar fans screamed in despair as David’s curling shot rammed into the far post. A few minutes later, it was the Thai fans who were crying as Theerathon’s stunning freekick from the right slipped over the bar. But just past the hour mark, the hosts were celebrating again when Theerathon converted from the spot.

The cheers were far from over as Thailand added a third i the 76th minute after Charyl Chappuis set-up the birthday boy Siroch Chatthong. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Chanathip Songkrasin sealed a convincing victory for Thailand ahead of the final next week.

For the record, the Thais were runners-up in 2006, 2008 and 2012.

Myanmar assistant coach, Miroslav Jagadic, who congratulated the Thais on their success, said his team played very well. “We are all very proud of them. They are young a side, our average age is around 21. This is our future, we will come back stronger in two years,” he said.

Jagadic however said the team was disappointed with the high score. “We knew they are dangerous but today’s result was high. We had worked had for this game,“ he said.  


THAILAND: Kawin Tharnsatchanan, Theerathon Bunmathan, Adison Promrak, Sarach Yooyen, Teerasil Dangda (cpt), Sarawut Masuk, Prathurd Chutong, Tanaboon Kesarat, Chanathip Songkrasin, Tristan Do, Pokklaw A-Nan

MYANMAR: Kyaw Zin Phyo, Zaw Min Tun, David Htan, Nanda Kyaw, Yan Aung Kyaw (Cpt), Aung Thu, Myo Ko Tun, Yan Naing Oo, Phyo Ko Ko Thein, Mg Mg Lwin, Than Paing

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