Defending champions Thailand bowed out of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 in the semifinal stage after drawing 2-2 with Malaysia at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. The War Elephants fell behind on away goals rule and failed to make the final for only the fourth time in tournament’s history.
Here are the three previous instances when Thailand failed to reach AFF Suzuki Cup final.
1998 Tiger Cup
The second edition of the AFF Championship, which was hosted by Vietnam, saw Singapore run away with the title. Defending champions Thailand, however, could finish only as the fourth best team in the tournament.
The War Elephants finished top of their group which had Indonesia, Myanmar and Philippines as the other three sides. In the semifinal, however, home side Vietnam got the better of them with a 3-0 scoreline.
Then in the third-place playoff, the War Elephants lost to Indonesia on penalties after the match finished 3-3.
2004/05 Tiger Cup
Thailand were once again the defending champions coming into the 2004/05 AFF Championship. The tournament, which was jointly hosted by Vietnam and Malaysia, had the War Elephants drawn in Group B alongside Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines and Timor-Leste.
They drew their first group stage encounter 1-1 against Myanmar before hammering Timor-Leste 8-0 in the second match. The War Elephants, however, lost 2-1 to Malaysia in the next match and despite a resounding 3-1 victory over Philippines in their last group stage match, they finished third in the group.
This was the first time that Thailand bowed out from the group stage of the tournament.
2010 AFF Suzuki Cup
Coming into the tournament as the runners-up from the 2008 edition, Thailand wanted to go one better in 2010. They were drawn in Group A with Indonesia, Malaysia and Laos the other three sides.
Their tournament started with two consecutive draws – a 2-2 draw against Laos in the opener and a goalless affair against Thailand in their second match. A 2-1 loss against hosts Indonesia, however, in their last group stage match meant they had to return home empty handed from the tournament.