AFF Suzuki Cup: Thailand in the final

When it comes to the AFF Suzuki Cup, no team has a better pedigree than Thailand. Including this year, the War Elephants have reached the last two on no less than eight occasions, winning the title four times, while claiming the runners-up spot three further times.

Their first appearance in the decider came in the very first AFF championship back in 1996, when current coach Kiatisuk Senamuang’s early goal gave them victory over Malaysia.

Thailand’s second appearance came four years later against this year’s final opponents Indonesia when a hat-trick from Worrawut Srimaka saw the Thais ease to a 4-1 victory.

Kiatisuk: A winner as both coach and player.

Two years later in 2002 the War Elephants claimed another final victory against Indonesia, this time winning a tense penalty shootout after Indonesia had scored late to take the tie into extra time.

Their next appearance in the final saw their first taste of defeat, Singapore triumphing 3-2 on aggregate in a two-legged final in the 2007 edition.

There was more final heartbreak a year later when Vietnam scored an injury-time winner through Le Cong Vinh to claim a memorable win in Hanoi, while a third final defeat came four years later, with a second defeat to Singapore, this one 3-2 on aggregate.

Chanathip Songkrasin: The 2014 hero.

The War Elephants finally got back on the winning trail two years ago, with a dramatic 4-3 aggregate win over Malaysia thanks to two late goals from Charyl Chappuis and tournament MVP Chanathip Songkrasin.

Can the Thais win a record fifth title this time around, or will Indonesia condemn them to another episode of final heartbreak?

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