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Thailand on top, Vietnam picks the third spot

The AFF Women's championship saw Thailand winning their fourth title in a row after an incredible final against Australia U-20. Leading 2-0 after an hour, the Young Matildas could not hold the score and lost 3-2. Vietnam got the third spot after a convincing campaign.

Thailand celebrate their fourth AFF Women's championship

The AFF Women’s Championship came to an end and the final game was like a firework for a very successful competition : Thailand came back from nowhere to beat Australia U-20 and win their fourth title in a row.

The Young Matildas dominated the first half heavily, and it is very logically that Mary Fowler opened the scoring at 26’ on a brilliant collective effort. The game was in control and Fowler scored a brace after 15 minutes in the second half.

But when the match seemed to be over for the Thai, they finally reacted. When Suchawadee Nildhamrong scored a few minutes later, things started to change on the field of play. The subs made a difference, with Orathai Srimanee bringing her team back to level at 70’, and Rattikan Thongsombut giving the advantage to her team just a few minutes later.

It was too much to handle for the Young Matildas who never managed to strike back. However, the Aussies coach Leah Blayney was satisfied with the performance of her team : “We certainly approached the match with a fearless mentality and dominated for long periods of this match. I am very proud of all the girls’ efforts, not just tonight, but across the entire tournament”, she said.

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“It was a very difficult game, especially when we were down by two goals. I really thought it would be tough to win this tie,” said Thailand head coach Nuengrutai Sraithongvian. With this victory, the Thais are on an impressive streak, having won the 2014, 2015, 2016 and now 2018 editions.

But the big performance maybe came from the Vietnamese, who got the bronze medal overcoming Malaysia. The Vietnameses, who had a very impressive first round (4 wins, 25 goals scored, 3 conceded), fell off in the semis only 4-2 against Australia. For the third place match, they were playing Myanmar again, who they had beaten 4-3 in the group stage.

This time showed a bit easier, with Thi Tuyet Dung scoring after 10 minutes only, allowing the team to get control of the match. And after 68 minutes, the substitute Nguyen Thi Van doubled the score and Pham Hai Yen closed the game with a third goal just a few minutes later.

“We are proud and certainly happy for today’s result. After the loss to Australia (in the semi-finals), the players are determined to do better and they delivered today,” said Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chung.