'Thailand will win championship': captain Theerathon Bunmathan

By Hieu Luong   January 13, 2023 | 07:26 pm PT
Thailand's captain Theerathon Bunmathan boosted his team's morale after a 2-2 draw against Vietnam at the AFF Cup final first leg in Hanoi Friday night, assuring them a victory in the second leg at home.

"We did not give up and we scored two goals away from home. That’s a good result. Don’t think about the goal that we lost in the last minutes, don’t feel bad about it," Bunmathan said of Vu Van Thanh’s strike in the 88th minute to settle the 2-2 draw for Vietnam in My Dinh Stadium.

"Thailand will win the championship upon returning home," the 32-year-old Thai captain told his teammates.

Thailand’s captain Theerathon Bunmathan (No.3) after the match against Vietnam in Hanoi, January 13, 2023. Photo by AFP

Thailand’s captain Theerathon Bunmathan (number 3) after the AFF Cup 2022 final first leg against Vietnam in Hanoi, January 13, 2023. Photo by AFP

Thailand’s Friday goals put Vietnam at a disadvantage because of the away goals rule.

If the teams draw over two legs, the one that have scored more goals "away from home" win.

Bunmathan was a star in the Friday game, despite Vietnam taking the lead with Nguyen Tien Linh’s successful header in the 25th minute.

One minute into the second half, he made a long pass for Poramet Aejwirai, who got past center-back Que Ngoc Hai before finishing powerfully to equalize for Thailand.

Bunmathan contributed again to Thailand’s second goal 17 minutes later with a through ball for Sarach Yooyen, who finished cleanly to complete the comeback.

The second leg will be held at Thammasat Stadium in Bangkok at 7:30 p.m. on Monday next week.

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