Thailand tops Indonesia on aggregate to win 2016 Suzuki Cup
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 17, 2016 11:46 PM
(Photo courtesy of affsuzukicup.com)
The Suzuki Cup trophy is staying in Thailand.
After falling for the first time in the tournament at the hands of Indonesia in the first leg of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup Finals, the War Elephants bounced back in the second leg, 2-0, to claim the title for a second straight year.
24-year old Siroch Chatthong was the man of the match, scoring late in the first half, and once more in the opening minutes of the second half to secure the championship.
Pegged as the favorites heading into the tournament, the defending champions coasted through the group stage, going unbeaten and topping the so-called "group of death." In the semifinals, Thailand decimated Group B runners-up Myanmar, 6-0, to reach the finals for the eight time.
Indonesia, who had a slow start to their 2016 AFF campaign, ended up as runners-up in Group A, gaining entry to the semis, where they bested Vietnam, 4-3 on aggregate. Unfortunately, they finish as runners-up for the fifth time in tournament history.
Thai star Chanathip Songkrasin was named tournament MVP, while teammate Teerasil Dangda was the awarded with the Top Scorer award after recording six conversions throughout the tournament.
Since the biennial tournament's inception in 1996, Thailand has hoisted the trophy five times, winning the inaugural tournament, and then going back-to-back twice in 2000 and 2002, and again in 2014 and 2016.