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2016 AFF Suzuki Cup final result and 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup new format

Thailand players celebrates a goal
Photo courtesy  BAY ISMOYO/Getty Images

With Thailand chasing 5th title, Indonesia meantime wants to complete the ultimate fairy tale run, as they chase for their first win in the AFF Suzuki Cup after 4x being runners-up already, with them ending the 1st leg leading 2-1, they are 90 minutes away from achieving that unbelievable feat, after being suspended for more than a year then won the tournament that has eluded them for years will be a great present to their fans who didn't give up on them despite the suspension. For Thailand meanwhile they wanted to win a record 5x in the AFF Championship, and with them playing in their home stadium for the 2nd leg, the Thai's are confident that they will win the match. 

The first couple of minutes saw little chance to both teams, with Thailand only chance was the high shot inside the box by Dangda, the Garuda's played tight in the back in hopes to hold on the aggregate score of 2-1 that will be enough to win them the tournament. However that defense has been broken in the 37th minute when Siroch Chatthong was in the right place at the right time when the Indonesian defender was about to clear Teerathon's cross, his clearance kick hits the thigh of Siroch which he was unaware of, it was all the contact that he needs put the ball inside the net and make it 1-0 to the War Elephants to make the agg. scoreline 2-2 and put his team's one hand on the trophy. Then just two minutes after the 2nd half, Siroch proved that he can score when he is aware as well as he hits a superb curling shot inside the box which curled away from the defender and the keeper to make 2-0 and 3-2 on aggregate. Despite the score Indonesia only needs 1 goal to put the match in extra time, and with them averaging scoring 2 goals per match after 6 games, they were never counted out in the last 40 minutes. Alfred Reidl put in some attacking minded players in the match to add to the pressure in the back of Thailand, the defense kept on frustrating the Indonesian players which was proved in the 90+5th minute when Lestaluhu was red carded when he kicked the ball in the direction of the Thai bench. The War Elephants held on to the 2-0 win and won their 5th AFF Championship title.

As the 2016 edition comes to an end, its time to look forward to the 2018 edition, and it has some changes that will benefit the AFF region as a whole. In the 2018 edition the teams will increased from 8 teams to 10 to give more chances to other countries. The top 9 teams will qualify directly with the 10th and 11th ranked team will play a home-away two legged playoff to determine the final spot. The 10 teams will be then divided into two groups of five teams and will play round robin format with each team playing two home and away fixtures. The format for the knockout round stay the same.


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