Vietnam among top successful teams at AFF Cup

Tuesday, 2018-11-13 18:06:14
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Vietnam win first AFF Cup in 2008. (Photo: AFF Cup)
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NDO – In the 22-year history of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship - AFF Cup, Thailand and Singapore are the two most successful teams with a total of nine titles in the past 11 seasons. But Vietnam was the first team outside of the two above names to enjoy the joy of victory, with the first championship title in history in 2008.

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Vietnamese fans surely cannot forget the moment when striker Le Cong Vinh scored the decisive header against Thailand in the second leg of the finale at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium in 2008, helping the home team to beat their bitter rivals with a total score of 3-2 after two legs to claim their first championship title.

According to FOX Sports Asia, Cong Vinh ranks second in the list of the top goal scorers in AFF Cup history (up to the end of the 2016 season), with 15 goals, two goals behind top scorer, Singaporean football legend, Noh Alam Shah. Also scoring 15 goals as the former Vietnamese player are the two strikers of the "War elephants" Thailand, Worrawoot Srimaka and Teerasil Dangda. In addition, Vietnamese former striker Le Huynh Duc is also named in the top five scoring list at AFF Suzuki Cup.

Former striker Le Cong Vinh is still the top scorer of Vietnam in AFF Cup history with a total of 15 goals.

In the past 11 seasons, Vietnam has not missed a single biennial tournament and is always in the list of top candidates for the trophy. On their journeys to the top position, the team have played a total of 57 games, got 28 wins and secured 99 points along with 121 goals, ranking third in the list of the most points and the goal scored in the tournament’s history.

Vietnam is also the fourth in term of conceding the least goals in the AFF Cup, only behind Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. In addition, the "Golden Dragons" were also present in the AFF Cup semi-finals in nine out of their 11 times in the region's biggest football event.

Vietnam are among the top contenders at this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup. (Photo: AFF Cup)

Looking back on AFF Cup history, Thailand is still the most successful team with five trophies in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2014 and 2016. They also top the list with the most points collected (134 points), but only ranked second in the scoring list with a total of 141 goals.

Surprisingly, despite never being crowned champions, Indonesia tops the AFF Cup's most goals list with a total of 145 goals, and also ranks second in the list of teams earning the most points with 99 points. However, the team is also the unluckiest in the tournament history. They have made five appearances in the AFF Cup finals but have failed in all. In particular, Indonesia advanced to three consecutive finals in 2000, 2002 and 2004, but lost to Thailand (2000, 2002) and Singapore (2004), respectively.

Although Thailand did not bring their strongest squad to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018, it is impossible to deny the strength of the defending champions. (Photo: AFF Cup)

Singapore, despite being ranked fourth on the list of the most points (92 points) and the fifth highest scorers (95 goals), are currently the second most successful team in the AFF Suzuki Cup. The island city-state owns four trophies collected in 1998, 2004, 2007 and 2012.

In addition to Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, Malaysia is the only remaining team to date that has won the AFF Cup title. Malaysia's maiden championship title in 2010 saw a huge contribution from star striker Safee Sali, who won the Golden Boot that year with a total of five goals. Malaysia is also the fourth and final team (as of 2016) to reach the 100 goal benchmark after they reached 101 goals in the 2016 season.

TRUNG HƯNG