J.League alum Theerathon stars as Thailand crowned ASEAN champs

J.League alum Theerathon stars as Thailand crowned ASEAN champs

Thailand won the 2023 AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup, earning the crown of ASEAN champion for a record seventh time, thanks in large part to heroics from former J.League star Theerathon Bunmathan.

Theerathon, who became the first Thai player to win the Meiji Yasuda J1 League when he helped Yokohama F·Marinos to the title in 2019, won the cup for Thailand with a blistering strike from long distance 24 minutes into the second leg of the final.

Thailand drew Vietnam in the first leg of the final, 2-2, and Theerathon’s stunner proved to be the only goal of the second leg as the Changsuek prevailed.

Thailand had an excellent tournament from the very beginning, taking 10 points from four matches in the group stage. They then beat Malaysia in the semi-finals before dispatching Vietnam for the crown.

Theerathon’s efforts earned him tournament MVP honors, while teammate Teerasil Dangda, who played in the J.League for Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Shimizu S-Pulse, won a share of the Golden Boot.

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