AFF Cup: Thailand close to clinching sixth title

by BLOOMBERG / pic credit: affsuzukicup.com

KUALA LUMPUR – Thailand are well-poised to crack their own record after demolishing Indonesia 4-0 in the first leg final of the 2020 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup Championship.

Thailand have so far lifted the AFF Cup five times to make the War Elephants as the most successful team in the championship series.

In the match at Singapore National Stadium, team captain Chanathip Songkrasin displayed great form to score two goals, one in each half.

Chanathip gave the squad under coach Alexandre Polking a headstart in the second minute from a run on the right flank before he blasted from the left foot to beat goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata.

Indonesia countered attacked with several dangerous moves and almost found the equaliser but Alfeandra Dewangga who was unmarked in the penalty box floated the ball over the goal post.

Thailand held the 1-0 lead until the end of the first half before they came back after the half-time more energised and seven minutes into the second half, Chanathip doubled the score for the War Elephants with an emphatic goal in the 52nd minute.

Thailand continued to control the pitch and kept up the pressure before Supachok Sarachart found the net in the 67th minute just outside the penalty box.

The situation for the Indonesians became even more disastrous when Bordin Phala cracked the defence to slot in Thailand’s fourth goal in the 83rd minute.

With 0-4 down, Indonesia would have a herculean task to reverse the position in the second final at the same venue on Sunday while Thailand are just one step away from celebrating their sixth AFF Cup title.

Thailand were champions in the inaugural AFF Cup in 1996 before sweeping up four more titles in the 2000, 2002, 2014 and 2016 editions.