Siroch dou­ble sends Thais to Suzuki Cup tri­umph

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Thai for­ward Siroch Chatthon scored twice against In­done­sia to help Thai­land lift the Suzuki Cup in Bangkok late yes­ter­day, over­turn­ing a shock first leg deficit. Goals on ei­ther side of half­time gave his side a 2-0 vic­tory that helped Thai­land re­tain the hotly-con­tested Southeast Asian ti­tle for a record fifth time.

The pres­sure was on the War Ele­phants af­ter a crush­ing loss to In­done­sia in the fi­nal’s first-leg, when the Garuda took ad­van­tage of their home turf to be­come the first team in the tour­na­ment to breach Thai­land’s de­fence with a 2-1 win.

But Thai­land headed into half time in high spir­its on Satur­day af­ter Siroch got lucky and kneed a pass from Theerathon Bun­mathan into the net just seven min­utes be­fore the break.

The strike shaved off In­done­sia’s first-leg win ad­van­tage and set off a thun­der­ous roar from raucous, fan-packed stands in Bangkok’s Ra­ja­man­gala Sta­dium.

Thai­land charged con­fi­dently back onto the field af­ter half time and swiftly widened their lead when Suroch scored his sec­ond goal eight min­utes in. The squad con­tin­ued their on­slaught of at­tacks for the re­main­der of the match but failed to make another break­through. In minute 81’ In­done­sian goal­keeper Kur­nia Meiga found some redemption in block­ing a penalty kick by Thai­land’s star striker Teerasil Dangda, who earned the cup’s top scorer award with 6 goals in the tour­na­ment. The Garuda emerged as the dark horse of this year’s tour­na­ment af­ter mak­ing it to the fi­nal de­spite miss­ing out on more than a year of com­pet­i­tive matches due to a oneyear ban from in­ter­na­tional events im­posed by world soc­cer body FIFA.

The AFF Suzuki Cup was In­done­sia’s first in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment since the ban was lifted in May. But the team will now go home empty-handed from the fi­nal for the fifth time, as Thai­land’s smooth-pass­ing, at­tack-minded play­ers once again take the Southeast Asian ti­tle.

— AFP

BANGKOK: Thai­land’s foot­ball team play­ers and staff hold aloft an im­age of Thai King Maha Va­ji­ra­longkorn af­ter Thai­land won the AFF Suzuki Cup Fi­nal be­tween Thai­land and In­done­sia at Ra­ja­man­gala Sta­dium in Bangkok yes­ter­day.

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