Thailand are in the box seat to reach the Suzuki Cup final after claiming a 1-1 draw against Malaysia in Sunday’s semi-final first leg.
The four-time Suzuki Cup winners were trailing 1-0 with 11 minutes remaining at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium but Tererasil Dangda’s 79th-minute header earned the visitors a priceless away goal.
Thailand had won all three of their group matches and were favourites heading to Kuala Lumpur and they looked the more likely to open the scoring in the first half but it remained goalless.
Malaysia took the lead four minutes into the second half when striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha headed home Mahali Jasuli’s fine cross.
It looked like Malaysia would hang on for victory but Dangda equalised to give Thailand momentum ahead of Thursday’s second leg at the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok.
Malaysia pushed for a late winner but Norshahrul was denied and it finished one-apiece.
Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer was pleased with his side’s performance on Sunday.
“The 1-1 draw is a good result for us as we still have the second leg to come, hopefully in front of a big crowd like this in Bangkok,” he said.
“But we played well and we had enough chances to change the match even after we fell behind 1-0.”