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Teerasil steers Thailand’s title defence off to a good start after subduing Indonesia

After missing out on their title run in 2014 due to his stint in Spain's Almeria, Thailand's Teerasil Dangda (#10) is back with a bang, scoring a hat-trick against a game Indonesia.
By Kevin Estrada

BOCAUE -- Reigning champions Thaland blew a two-goal half-time lead before finding their composure in the final eleven minutes to subdue Indonesia, 4-2, to open their AFF Suzuki Cup defence here at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

After Peerapat Notchaiya scored the very first goal of the tournament just four minutes in, skipper and forward Teerasil Dangda fired his second AFF Championship hat-trick to power the War Elephants in a wet and wild battle between the storied rivals.

Indonesia staged a three-minute fightback in the second half to level the match at 2-2, but the Muang Thong talisman grabbed all three points for Kiatisuk Senamuang on a fifteen-minute brace.

Thailand became the more aggressive side at the kick-off, and were rewarded with a thumping volley from the left-back to open the competition in style.

Teerasil doubled the champions’ lead in the 36th minute after a goalmouth scramble by poking the ball home from a close range for a 2-0 half-time lead.

Alfred Riedl's men staged a three-minute, two goal spree, thanks to headers by Boaz Solossa in the 53rd minute, and Lerby Eliandry in the 56th to level the match at 2-2.

However, Thailand regained the upperhand for good in the 79th minute, when Teerasil showed his accuracy from outside the box to make it 3-2.

The 28-year-old then completed his hat-trick by latching on to Saratch Yooyen's cross for the final tally.

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