AFF Suzuki Cup 2016: Group A Recap

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Still catching your breath from last week’s exciting 2016 Group Stage action? Here are some key takeaways from each team’s performance in Group A:

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The defending champions were heavy favorites in what many considered to be a ‘Group of Death’  featuring hosts and wildcards .

While Thailand did top Group A with three wins, they left it till very late: Teerasil Dangda’s game-winner against Indonesia did not come until the 79th minute, while Sarawut Masuk’s goals in 1-0 victories against and Philippines came in the in the 89th and 81st minutes respectively.

The War Elephants were heavily out-fouled over three matches, clear evidence of the frustration their opponents felt in response to the team’s dynamic play. In that sense, the group will have served as good preparation for semifinal opponents Myanmar, who showed that they were not afraid to throw their weight around.

As manager Kiatisuk Senamuang prepares for the home-and-away series, he will likely want to take a closer look at the Indonesia match, which was perhaps the only time Thailand faced an opponent up to the challenge end-to-end football.

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