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Yangon: Thailand won the AFF Under-18 Championship 2017 title where a three-minute blitz gave them a hard fought 2-0 win over Malaysia in the final at the Thuwunna Stadium on Sunday.

What made the win more fabulous for the Thais was the fact that they had to play with 10 men towards the end of the exhilarating tie when Wudtichai Kumkeam picked up his second yellow card in the 67th minute.

“It has been a tough tournament all around,” said striker Ekanit Panya after the game. “But we have grown as a team and this victory will give us confidence for the future.”

The introduction of Ekanit and Yuthapichal Lertlum for Thailand eight minutes before the breather had an instant impact when the latter rushed into the Malaysian box for a shot that was well blocked by custodian Muhammad Azri Abdul Ghani.

And it took Thailand just three minutes into the second half for them to grab the lead where off some hesitant Malaysian clearance, Ekanit nodded home the cross from Naravit Kaosantia.

Three minutes later, Thailand doubled the advantage with captain Kritsada Kaman heading in the cross from an almost similar situation.

Thailand's U-18 squad's victory comes just weeks after their U-22 team won the Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games gold, beating Malaysia 1-0 in the final. 

In the play-off for third place, Indonesia played one of the most entertaining games of the tournament to beat Myanmar 7-1.

“I told the players before the match not to be egoists and that probably contributed to the high score today,” said Indonesian head coach Indra Sjafri.

“Myanmar are still a good quality team but I felt that today, we were more motivated.”

It was always going to be a battle between two attacking teams but with Myanmar a shade off colour, it was Indonesia who grabbed the initiatives with some quick movements and counter attacking game.

Just fourteen minutes in, striker Egy Maulana Vikri fed a cross to Muhammad Rafli Mursalim to score before doubling the advantage two minutes before the half with Witan Sulaeman beating the offside trap.

Indonesia finished the half on top with the third goal coming off Egy in the 35th minute as they continued to pile on the pressure after the breather in spite of the several substitutions.

Rafli completed his hat-trick with the third goal right on the hour while Hanis Saghara Putra (73rd and 90th minute) and Egy (87th) finished things off.

Results

Final: Malaysia 0 Thailand 2

Third/Fourth Placing: Indonesia 7 Myanmar 1.

Source: Asean Football Federation 

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