(Reuters) – Thailand’s Chanathip Songkrasin was in devastating form as they handed Indonesia a 4-0 thrashing in the Suzuki Cup final first leg in Singapore on Wednesday with the captain scoring twice to put his nation on the verge of a sixth Southeast Asian title.
Chanathip’s second minute opener was the fastest goal scored in the final of the regional competition while his second seven minutes after the interval capped a quick break by the Thais.
Supachok Sarachat hit Thailand’s third midway through the second half and Bordin Phala scored the fourth late on to leave the Indonesians with an almost impossible task in the return on New Year’s Day if they are to win the title for the first time.
Mano Polking’s Thais, looking to add to their record five titles, dominated throughout as a youthful and inexperienced Indonesia outfit struggled after Chanathip’s early opener.
The Consadole Sapporo playmaker showed his class when he fired a first-time effort into the top corner after Philip Roller’s persistence saw the Port FC winger set up his captain.
Bordin was twice denied the opportunity to add a second for the Thais either side of an opening on the counter for Indonesia’s Alfeandra Dewangga, when the defender shot over the bar with only goalkeeper Sivaruck Tedsungnoen to beat.
Shin Tae-yong’s side were to regret that miss as the Thais crushed their hopes in the second half.
Chanathip doubled Thailand’s lead seven minutes after the interval when he coolly applied the finishing touch from the edge of the area after Supachok broke into the Indonesia penalty area before laying the ball off for the 28-year-old to score.
Supachok, who was impressive throughout the match, claimed the goal his performance deserved in the 67th minute when he calmly picked his spot in the bottom corner from distance following more impressive work by Roller on the right.
Bordin slotted home the fourth seven minutes from time when he was played in behind the defence by Worachit Kanitsribumphen to give the Thais a huge advantage ahead of the second leg.
The Suzuki Cup is being played on a centralised basis in a biosecure bubble in Singapore after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the competition’s postponement last year.
(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Ken Ferris)