BANGKOK (27 April 2012) – Thailand made a triumphant return as the kings of ASEAN Futsal when they beat Vietnam 9-4 in the final of the AFF Futsal Championship 2012 to lift their eighth crown of the tournament in front a full house crowd at the BangkokThonburi University Stadium.
The Thais, who gave the championship in 2010 in Vietnam a miss, had won the title for seven straight times previously and with the victory this afternoon showed that their preparation for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup which they will be hosting at the end of the year is on track.
Thailand had also won the ASEAN zone qualifiers for the AFC Futsal Championship earlier in the year that was held at the same venue.
“Our concentration level is not where it should be,” said Vic Hermans, the chief coach of Thailand after the game. “Yes we can score goals but we also did not concentrate enough in defence. We let in soft goals.”
Buoyed by the presence of their screaming fans, the Thais once again showed why they are the kingpins of ASEAN Futsal as Suphawut Thueanklang blasted the homesters ahead in the second minute.
Three minutes later, Thailand went 2-0 up when Suphawut again rifled in another screamer past Vietnam custodian Dang Phuoc Anh.
But Vietnam were not about to lie down as they harassed the Thai frontline and prevented them from adding to the score line as the game grew more intense. In the tenth minute, Phung Trong Luan had a great chance to pull a goal back but he took a tad too long to beat Thai keeper Prakit Dankunthod.
There was however no denying Vietnam their first goal in the final match when Luu Quynh Toan blasted in a penalty in the 19th minute before barely a minute later, Suphawut restored Thailand’s two-goal advantage from a spot kick of their own.
The game then got more intense as Vietnam captain Nguyen Bao Quan picked up a yellow card for excessive arguing with Malaysian referee Heldy Idang as the score stood 3-1 at the half to the delight of the home team.
Immediately into the second half, the Thais then stepped on the gas to score four quick goals through Apiwat Chaemcharoen (25th minute), Jetsada Chudech (28th) and a double from Kritsada Wongkaeo in the 31st minute of play.
Vietnam then fought back with three goals of their own from Tran Van Vu (29th minute), Nguyen Trong Thien (36th) and Tran Hoang Vinh (37th) as the game got even more physical with two red cards being handed out by referee Heldy Idang of Malaysia.
One on Vietnam’s Pham Thanh Tuan and the other on Thailand’s Jirawat Sornwichian.
“My players have to grow up. They need to control their emotions when under pressure from the fans and from the match officials,” added Sergio Gargelli, the chief coach of Vietnam. “But at least we tried very hard in the final and gave them a hard fight.”