BANGKOK, Dec 22 — The Thai national football team nearly lost heart during an intermission after Malaysia led 3-0 in the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final Saturday night in Malaysia.
But their morale was boosted after His Majesty the King’s personal secretary phoned in and asked them to continue playing with full effort.
Finally, the Thai team won the crown and gained the fourth title at the biennial tournament, equaling Singapore’s record, after beating Malaysia 4-3 on aggregate including the score in the earlier match in Bangkok on Wednesday when it defeated Malaysia 2-0.
On Saturday night, Malaysia beat Thailand 3-2 and was the runner-up in the tournament.
Thailand coach Kiattisak Senamuang said after the match that it was difficult in playing against Malaysia amid wild cheers of about 100,000 home team spectators at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The morale of the Thai players, however, was boosted when His Majesty the King’s personal secretary phoned to Thailand manager Kasem Jariyawatwong conveying the King’s message urging the Thai players not to lose heart, Mr Kiattisak said.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha telephoned as well to congratulate the Thai players, Mr Kiattisak added.