BANGKOK (16 January 2023) – It is Seventh Heaven for Thailand as they romped to their seventh crown of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup following their close 1-0 win over Vietnam in the Final 2 tie that was played at the Thammasat Stadium tonight.
Following the 2-2 draw from the first leg in Hanoi a few days earlier, the lone strike from captain Theerathon Bunmathan was enough to seal victory for the Thais on a 3-2 aggregate.
It was Thailand’s second crown in two editions of the biennial championship to add to the titles they won previously in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2014 and 2016.
With FIFA president Gianni Infantino part of the close to 20,000 at the stand, the game started well enough with both teams putting up an excellent display of attacking football.
After several near misses, Theerathon scored his first goal of the tournament this year in the 24th minute when he rifled in the shot from distance to give the home team the lead.
Vietnam tried to recover from that setback but with Nguyen Quang Hai closely watched and striker Nguyen Tien Linh unable to make much headway upfront, the swan song for head coach Park Hang-seo did not end on a high note.
The only consolation for Vietnam was to have Tien Linh sharing the Top Goalscorer Award with Thailand’s Teerasil Dangda with six goals.
While Thailand would finish the game with ten men when Peeradol Chamrasamee was yellow-carded for the second time in the match, it did little to douse the celebration throughout the city.
Pictures Courtesy of #VFF