Thailand lifted the AFF Suzuki Cup for a record sixth time on Saturday, after a 2-2 draw with Indonesia in the final’s second leg sealed a 6-2 aggregate victory at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Ricky Kambuaya gave Indonesia some hope of turning around the four-goal deficit from the first leg with an early goal, but the Thais put the match out of reach with a strike by Adisak Kraisorn and an own goal early in the second half.
Egy Maulana Vikri made it 2-2 with a late effort but it was mere consolation for the Garudas as they suffered their sixth consecutive final defeat, four of which have come at the hands of the Thais.
Facing the seemingly insurmountable deficit, Indonesia got the start they wanted as a goalkeeping error put them on the scoresheet after seven minutes.
Ricky’s low effort from outside the box was straight at Siwarak Tedsungnoen but he mishandled the ball, which slipped out of his hands and went in off the right post.
It was only the second goal Thailand had conceded in eight games in the tournament, but they responded to the setback in a positive manner.
Indonesia goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata made good saves to deny Teerasil Dangda and Thanawat Suengchitthawon, while Supachok Sarachat grazed the crossbar as the Thais outshot their opponents 10-3 in the opening half without reward.
However, the pressure of the War Elephants would pay off as they turned the game around with two goals in three minutes shortly after the interval.
The equaliser arrived in the 54th minute when substitute Adisak pounced on a loose ball after Nadeo had parried Bordin Phala’s shot and rifled the ball into the net.
They then took the lead when Sarach Yooyen’s low effort was turned into the net by defender Asnawi Mangkualam.
Egy restored some pride for Indonesia when he levelled the score at 2-2 with a fine left-footed finish from a tight angle with 10 minutes left.
But Thailand comfortably closed out the remaining minutes to regain their position as South East Asia’s top side.