AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022: Dominant Thailand run riot to overturn first leg deficit

Suphanan Bureerat Nor Hakim Hassan Thailand Malaysia AFF Cup 2022 Semifinal 10012023FAM

Coming into the game trailing 1-0 on aggregate following that slender defeat in Kuala Lumpur, the War Elephants knew a big performance would be needed to reach the AFF Cup final again, and they delivered emphatically, winning 3-0 in Bangkok.

As they often do, Thailand dominated the early stages, with Malaysia defending deep and looking to soak in the pressure. A first opportunity arrived for the hosts in the 17th minute, as Bordin’s drilled effort from Teerasil’s knockdown was parried out by goalkeeper Syihan Hazmi.

They wouldn’t be denied for long, however. Just two minutes later, Theerathon Bunmathan delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left for Teerasil to nod home his sixth goal of the tournament from the edge of the six-yard box. The sea of blue around the stadium burst into raptures, and the game was level on aggregate.

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Malaysia had a rare foray forward in the 37th minute, as Darren Lok headed Hakim Hassan’s cross from the left straight at the goalkeeper Kampon, before Mukhairi Ajmal curled a free-kick straight down the Thai custodian’s throat shortly after.

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However, it was Thailand who would get the next goal shortly after half-time. Suphanan Bureerat threaded a through ball into Ekanit Panya, whose inch-perfect cutback found Bordin free in the area. He needed no second invitation, placing an effort into the far corner with a composed finish from 12 yards out.

Despite throwing on star attacker Safawi Rasid to try grab an all-important goal, Malaysia’s defence was soon breached again, as Suphanan’s low cross from the right was met by Adisak. Despite his initial effort coming off the post, the striker reacted the quickest to get to his feet and tap in his second of the campaign.

Following the dominant display, Thailand will now travel to Hanoi to face Vietnam in the first leg of the final at My Dinh National Stadium on Friday, before returning to Bangkok for the second leg on Monday.