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Kroekrit's brace puts Thailand in Suzuki Cup finals

ESPN (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

Thaweekam Kroekrit broke the hearts of the Philippine Azkals as he scored two second half goals to cap a 3-0 shutout by Thailand in the tail-end of their AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal series at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Kroekrit scored the Thai's second goal of the match in the 58th minute off a good onside pass, getting past Simone Rota and giving the Azkals, who needed a win or at least a scored draw to enter the finals, a harder task of accomplishing the feat.

Kroekrit again got past the Azkals backline and drilled in the finisher with four minutes left in regulation.

Chanatip Songkrasin opened the scoring for Thailand in the sixth minute.

The Azkals also got a lot of cautions from the referee, eventually leading to a sendoff against Martin Steuble.

Thailand, which exactly repeated its 3-0 dominance of the Philippines in a friendly last month, will await the winner of the Malaysia-Vietnam series in a two-leg championship series next week.

Vietnam took Game 1 of its own series with Malaysia, 2-1, in Kuala Lumpur with the return leg set tomorrow in Hanoi.