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SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR THAIS (14 June 2009)



HO CHI MINH CITY (14 June 2009) – Defending champions Thailand made it their seventh crown in a row in the AFF Futsal Championship when they beat hosts Vietnam 4-1 in the final that was played at the Phu Tho Stadium this evening.

The score at the half was 2-0 in favour of the Thais.

“This team is making steady progress as we have expect them to,“ said Wisan Maijivit, the head coach of Thailand.

“Several of the players are already training with the senior national team and I expect a few more will make the grade in the not so distant future.”

The Thais could not have started on a more stronger note when they slammed home the lead as early as the first minute following a cross from Keattiyot Chalaemkhet which was put into the back of the net by the waiting Suphawut Thuenklang.

But Vietnam seemed to be a shade off colour in this final when compared to how they played in the semi-finals against Indonesia.

Then, they were more aggressive and had more ideas in the attack.

And just when they were pushing hard to get into better scoring positions, Thailand scored their second goal in the 17th minute when Nattawut Kongnimit set it up for Na-tee Thusiri.

Six minutes into the second half, Thailand went 3-0 up when Thusiri made good on a pass form Kritsada Wongkaeo for his second goal of the game.

As Vietnam started their power play through captain Ha Bao Minh, the young Thais clinched their fourth goal in the 35th minute when Thusiri provided the chance for Nattawut Kongnimit to score.

But the capacity 5,000 home crowd had at least something to cheer when Vietnam finally scored their first goal in the game off Ngo Anh Dung two minutes to the end.

“We tried but the Thais were too skilful and they know how to make variety of their offensive play,” said Pattaya Piemkum, the head coach for Vietnam.

“But we made the final for the first time this year, so there is at least some good lesson we can pick up from this tournament.”

In the meantime, Indonesia emerged third in the competition when they edged the Philippines with the slimmest score of 4-3.

“We would have liked to be in the final but coming in third has at laest made up for the disappointment somewhat,” said Yericko Umbas, the team manager of Indonesia.

“The game has certainly become very competitive and this year is no different. We look forward to a better tournament in the next edition.”

But it was to be the Philippines who drew first blood in the fifth minute when Jason De Jong picked up a pass from Misagh Bahadoran to blast the ball home beyond the reach of Indonesian keeper Yos Adi Wicaksono.

Unrattled, Indonesia kept up their composure and in the 15th minute, they duly grabbed the equaliser through captain Denny Handoyo off a lay-up from Nur Alifiansyah.

With the score tied 1-1 at the half, Indonesia pushed harder into the second half and just two minutes in, Indra Kurnia slammed home the lead before Taufiq Rahman then added the third goal just three minutes later.

But the Philippines were far from over and in the 27th minute following a foul on Misagh by Handoyo, the latter did not disappoint to convert the ensuing penalty to put the score at 3-2.

Indonesia then snapped back with their fourth goal of the game in the 28th minute from Sayan Karmadi as the Philippines scored their final goal of the game a minute to the end for the final scoreline.

“Like what I said before, we do not have enough matches and that is the reason why we make so many personal mistakes,” said Sedigh Esmaeil, the head coach of the Philippines.

“We will go back and look to improve on our performance and hopefully, we will do better in the next edition.“


ROLL OF HONOUR

CHAMPIONS: Thailand

RUNNERS-UP: Vietnam

THIRD: Indonesia

FOURTH: Philippines

FAIR PLAY TROPHY: Indonesia

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Keattiyot Chalaemkhet (Thailand)

BEST GOALKEEPER: Dang Phuoc Anh (Vietnam)

TOP SCORER AWARD: Sayan Karmadi (Indonesia) 10 goals



FIXTURES and RESULTS (All matches at the Phu Tho Stadium)

8 June 2009
MALAYSIA 3 INDONESIA 7
THAILAND 16 MYANMAR 6
PHILIPPINES 0 VIETNAM 3

9 June 2009
TIMOR LESTE 2 PHILIPPINES 10
MALAYSIA 3 THAILAND 7
MYANMAR 4 INDONESIA 6

10 June 2009
MYANMAR 0 MALAYSIA 2
VIETNAM 21 TIMOR LESTE 1
INDONESIA 2 THAILAND 3

12 June 2009
Semi-Finals
THAILAND 8 PHILIPPINES 2
VIETNAM 3 (8) INDONESIA 3 (7)

14 June
PHILIPPINE 3 INDONESIA 4
THAILAND 4 VIETNAM 1

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