Rattikan Thongsombut nailed a late winner as Thailand lifted the AFF Women’s Championship for two years in a row after beating Myanmar 3-2 in the final that was played here tonight at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
“It is fantastic to win of course,” said Thai coach Nuengrutai Srathonvian afterwards. “It is just the right tonic ahead of our appearance at the FIFA World Cup next month.”
Showing no let up from their semi-final appearance, Thailand was pushing hard from the get-go as they fielded all their best players that included Sunisa Srangthaisong, Nisa Romyen and also Anootsara Maijarern.
But it was to be the hardworking Kanjana Sung Ngoen who caused the most damage to Myanmar’s title aspiration with her hard running down the left flank.
As Myanmar absorbed the early pressure, they were finding it hard to break into the Thai box although Khin Marlar Tun and also Yee Yee Oo did get a sniff of getting a shot in.
With chances far in between, it was Thailand who broke the deadlock in the 37th minute off an earlier attempt from Nisa that was blocked by Myanmar keeper May Phu Ngon, the waiting Kanjanam slammed in the ball from the far post.
Four minutes later, Nisa could have put the game beyond Myanmar’s reach but with Phu Ngon beaten, she just could not fire the ball in from an acute angle.
Myanmar finished the first half with the best chance of the first half where off a lay up from Marlar Tun, striker Yee Oo just could not placed her header past Thai custodian Waraporn Boonsing.
A mad scramble inside the Thai box in the 56th minute allowed Khin Moe Wai to toe poke the equalizer as Myanmar grew in confidence to push forward.
But the Thais were not to be outdone and in the 65th minute, a looping header from Nisa off a cross from Anootsara saw Thailand restoring their lead.
In the 75th minute, Win Theingi Tun once again put Myanmar on lever terms before Rattikan broke from the right to score with a stiff grounder.
IN THE MEANTIME, a double from striker Princess Ibini-Isei helped the Under-20 team of Australia to a fantastic 4-3 win over hosts Vietnam as they powered through to finish third in the competition.
Putting up a much better show than they did against Myanmar in the semi-finals two days earlier, the Australian girls were all over the hosts and it did not take them long to open account early in the fourth minute when Amy Jefferson blasted in from the edge of the box.
Vietnam kept up the momentum and did not lose focus and after some sustained pressure in the tenth minute saw Nguyen Thi Nguyet being brought down inside the box by defender Ellie Carpenter.
Nguyen Thi Ming Nguyet did not disappoint from the spot as she then made sure that the advantage was theirs at the end of the first half when she slammed in her second goal of the afternoon and Vietnam’s third in the 32nd minute – making good on a cross from Tran Thi Thuy Trang.
Australia were quicker into the second half as a half volley from Princess in the 56th minute to be followed by another from Beatrice Goad in the 74th minute gave them the lead at 3-2.
And while Vietnam did draw level again in the 84th minute with Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung heading in from a corner, there was no denying Australia the win when Princess beat her marker to score deep in injury time.
RESULTS – 10 May 2015
THIRD and FOURTH PLACING: Australia U20 4 Vietnam 3
FINAL: Myanmar 2 Thailand 3