By Gabriel Tan
In true fairy-tale fashion, the triumph, at what was then known as the Tiger Cup, was to prove a fine end to what had initially been a year of disappointment for the legendary Thai striker.
Despite the eventual joy, there can be no doubting however that the turn of the millennium had not been the best of times for Kiatisuk.
ESPNSTAR.com's look back at the AFF Suzuki Cup
A year earlier, he had joined the exclusive group of Southeast Asian players to ply their trade in Europe after being signed by Huddersfield, who at the time were in the second-tier of English football.
What started out as a dream move sensationally ended in heartbreak as the then-26-year-old failed to make a single appearance for the Terriers, and returned to Thailand at the end of the 1999/2000 season to join Raj Pracha.
But despite his lack of game time in England, there was never any doubt he would be selected in coach Peter Withe's squad for the Tiger Cup, especially given the tournament was to be played on home soil in front of an expectant Thai public.
Nonetheless, there were still some question marks over whether Kiatisuk would be able to deliver on the big stage given his confidence had taken a beating during his ill-fated spell overseas, but any doubts were instantly dismissed the moment the Thais kicked off their campaign at the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai.
Four minutes into their opening Group A game against Myanmar, the talismanic striker netted his 44th international goal to send his side on their way to a routine 3-1 victory, with their other goals coming from Sakesan Pituratana and Surachai Jaturapattarapong.
Four days later, the group's biggest clash took place when the hosts took on fellow giants Indonesia, with both sides knowing victory would like wrap up top spot for either one of them.
Towering striker Worrawoot Srimaka opened the scoring in the 25th minute before grabbing a second four minutes after the break to give the War Elephants a comfortable lead, before Kiatisuk added a third three minutes later to all but wrap up the three points.
The Indonesians pulled one back in the 57th minute when Gendut Doni Christiawan found the back of the net, but the evening belonged to Thailand, who netted a fourth through Dusit Chalermsan to complete an astounding rout of a team many expected to pose a real title challenge.
Still, Indonesia's 5-0 triumph over Myanmar in their final group game meant the Thais were still not assured of top spot but once again, Kiatisuk netted four minutes into their match against Philippines to calm their nerves in what turned out to be an easy 2-0 win.
Come the semi-finals, Thailand were pitted against a Malaysia side boasting a strike force led by Rusdi Suparman, known as 'Superman' by team-mates and fans alike for his near-inhuman goal-scoring prowess.
Following an evenly-contested opening, it was Kiatisuk who once again came to the fore by putting his side ahead in the 30th minute, before Tawan Sripan made sure of their progress with a second five minutes later.
In the other semi-final, Indonesia saw off the challenge of Vietnam after a 3-2 extra-time win over Vietnam, and with Nandar Iskandar's charges starting to find their form, many were expecting a completely different game from the emphatic defeat the Thais had handed them in the group stage.
However, that was exactly what happened although this time it was Worrawoot who emerged as the star of the show, netting a hat-trick in the 32nd minute to give the hosts a 3-1 lead, with Indonesia netting in the 20th minute through Uston Nawawi.
Any hopes of a Garuda comeback were extinguished in the 65th minute when defender Tanongsak Prajakkata scored to hammer the final nail into the Indonesian coffin, leaving Thailand to celebrate their second regional title in three outings.
While Worrawoot, along with Gendut, walked away with the Golden Boot after netting five goals, Kiatisuk was fittingly named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, confirming he was indeed, at that very moment in time, the region's biggest star playing for the most dominant side.
Although he never again tasted European football in his career, Kiatisuk went on to star in Singapore's S.League with 15 goals in 20 games for SAFFC, before moving to Vietnam with Hoang Anh Gia Lai, where he netted 59 times in 75 appearances and led his side to back-to-back victories in the V-League and Vietnamese Super Cup.
Kiatisuk went on to win the Suzuki Cup again in 2000 and also appeared at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, capping off a memorable career that saw him score 71 goals in 132 caps.
In a career that produced countless highlights, and for a player who was remembered for his skill, creativity and genius, the 2000 Suzuki Cup was when Kiatisuk displayed arguably his greatest traits of all - sheer grit and determination.