BANGKOK (27 Nov 2012) – Teerasil Dangda proved why he is the hottest property in Thailand when he nailed his first hat-trick of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 to power past Myanmar 4-0 this evening at the Rajamangala Stadium.
The Muang Thong forward found the back of the net in the 20th, 82nd and 89th minute to make sure that the three-time champion booked their place in the semi-finals of the competition. The other goal for Thailand was scored by Apipoo Sunthornphit in the 60th minute.
“Best player of the tournament? No, Teerasil is one of the best players in Asia,” quipped Winfried Schaefer, the chief coach of Thailand. “He struggled with some injuries some time back but now he is back. And he is fantastic.”
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Myanmar but to their credit, they put up quite a show in front of their own fans who had turned out to support the team.
But Thailand were just too slick where in spite of missing the brain of Datsakorn Thonglao, the stand-in midfielder Sumanya Purisay was no let down as he commanded the midfield well.
As Schaefer had promised, the stop was put in place on Myanmar’s bursting striker Kyi Lin with the job given to the battling qualities of Adul Lahsoh. The latter was like an albatross around Kyi Lin’s neck all night long restricted him to just a few shots at goals to give custodian Kawin Thamsatchanan a relatively quiet night.
On the other hand, Myanmar keeper Thiha Si Thu had to work double time with Theerathorn Bunmathan firing in an early shot before Jakkapan Pornsai came excruciatingly close some time afterwards.
In the 20th minute, Thailand gave the loyalists the chance to celebrate when Teerasil evaded his marker before beating Thiha Si Thu with the outside of his left foot.
The score at the end of the first half was 1-0 to Thailand.
Losing the battle in midfield meant that Myanmar were relying more on the counter-attacks but with limited supply to the frontline, Kyi Lin often cut a lonely figure as strike mate Yan Paing had to help out in defence.
Right at the hour mark, substitute Apipoo headed in Thailand’s first goal with his very first touch to put the home team comfortably ahead.
With Myanmar reeling from the pressure and as the yellow cards began to build up for teams, Teerasil then snatched two goals in the last ten minutes of the match to give Thailand their second full points.
“The better team won tonight,” said Tin Myint Aung, the assistant coach of Myanmar. “The Thais are very good but our players played their best. So we cannot complain.”
Pix by Thananuwat Srirasant (World Sport Group)