BANGKOK (6 Dec 2016) – With star striker Teerasil Dangda on a hot streak, and the rest of his team equally fired up in the AFF Suzuki Cup thus far, Thailand look virtually unstoppable in their quest for the title. The Thai are just three matches away – the second leg semi-final against Myanmar on Thursday and the two-leg final tie – from achieving their dream.
Thai coach Zico chooses his words very carefully but one thing he made clear from the start was that they were aiming to retain the prestigious AFF Suzuki Cup crown. The Thais are targeting an unprecedented fifth crown which would reaffirm them as the Kings of football in the region.
“We want to make the final and win the title,” said Zico. “We want to win for our late King (Bumiphol Adulyadej) and our new King (Maha Vajiralongkorn). The players understand this and know what to do.”
The Thai motivation to retain the region’s most prized trophy for their Kings is extremely powerful and unlikely to be contained. The two-goal lead they have from the first leg, thanks to Teerasil, should be enough to take them through to the final. “We cannot underestimate Myanmar and I have told the players to pay with determination.”
This morning the Thai team checked into the official hotel. “We arrived yesterday and I gave them a short break before they came back in today. We start training later today. We must use our time well,” he said today.
Teerasil, who now has six goals and is the tournament’s leading scorer, will be the man the team will be counting on again to deliver the goods. The other Thai players who could seal the game are Chananthip Songkrasin or Messi J and also Sarawut Masuk, who scored the winning goals against Singapore and the Philpiines.
If Myanmar hope to come out above, they will have to keep the trio in check and not allow them the space to steal away and score more goals.