Champions Thailand and Singapore to face off in AFF Suzuki Cup
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
and Singapore, the two most successful teams in AFF
Suzuki Cup history, have been drawn together in an
exciting Group A following the official draw for this
year’s championship today in Yangon.
champions Thailand and Singapore have both won the event
a record four times and will clash in the Philippines –
who are hosting a Group stage for the first time.
Indonesia, after a period in the international
wilderness, have also been drawn in the same
The AFF Suzuki Cup, which
will be played from November 19 to December 17, will see
joint hosts Myanmar battle it out in Group B with
Malaysia, runners up two years ago, Vietnam and the team
that wins October’s Qualification Round in Cambodia.
The qualifier will be staged from October 15 to 21
with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste
competing for that one prized spot.
marks the 20th anniversary of the AFF tournament, which
will begin on November 19 with Thailand playing
Indonesia and the Philippines matched against Singapore.
“It is a very tough group,” said Thailand’ revered
coach Kiatisuk Senamuang, better known as “Zico”.
“Singapore have a strong squad, the Philippines are
constantly improving and will be on home soil, and
Indonesia are coming back and are an unknown quantity.”
Kiatisuk led Thailand to victory two years ago after beating Malaysia 4-3 on aggregate. They also triumphed in the inaugural tournament in 1996 as well as in 2000 and 2002 with Kiatisuk shining as their star striker.
Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy was as equally aware of
the stern test that awaits his side.
“We will need to prepare well. It is a tough draw. We
have three months to prepare for three very difficult
games on Philippine soil.”
While Thailand have
been the in-form side in Southeast Asia over the past
few years, Singapore will aim to continue a fine record
against the Thais in the AFF Suzuki Cup. They beat them
in the final in 2007 and 2012 while they also took the
title in 1998 and 2004.
Their Group A match kicks
off on November 22.
The Group B matches start on
November 20 with Malaysia against the Qualification
Round winner and Myanmar playing Vietnam.
believe all ASEAN teams are on par these days except
perhaps for the Thais,” said Ong Kim See, Malaysia’s new
“Every group match will be tough, unlike
10 years ago when only the favourites did well. We are
aiming to have three or four warm up games before the
tournament starts. Myanmar, as the home team, will be
favourites in our group.”
The Malaysian have
lifted the trophy once, in 2010, and were runners up in
1996 and 2014, on both occasions losing to Thailand.
The top two sides from each group will progress to
the semi-finals, played home and away from December 3 to
8. The final, also two legged, will be staged on
December 14 and 17.
With Myanmar and the
Philippines newcomers to hosting the Group Stage
tournament, the Youth Training Centre in Yangon and the
Philippine Sports Stadium, will be staging their first
games in the AFF
Suzuki Cup 2016. Both venues
have previously held international matches.
Theikdi Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw and the Rizal Memorial
Stadium in the heart of Manila, which has played host to
AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final matches in 2012 and 2014, will
each host one simultaneous match in the group stages.
Source: ASEAN Football Federation