FINALISTS THAILAND AND INDONESIA DRAWN TOGETHER IN THE GROUP STAGES OF THE AFF SUZUKI CUP 2018

sports May 03, 2018 06:42

By Agencies

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 Defending champions Thailand have been drawn in Group B in this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup against Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore at the event’s Official Draw today in Jakarta.



They will be joined by the winner of the qualification match between Timor-Leste and Brunei.

In Group A, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos will battle it out in what will be the 12th staging of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

The AFF Suzuki Cup kicks off this year with the first Group stage matches to be played on November 8 while the final will be held on December 15.

Cambodia will play Malaysia and Laos will play Vietnam in the opening games on November 8.

An exciting new format is being used for the first time this year that will see each team play two games at home and two games away in the Group stages.

The aim of this is to provide more exposure for players in their home country and provide fans with more opportunities to back their national team on home soil.

The top-two teams progress from each Group into the semi-finals played over two legs home and away. The final is also a two-legged affair.

A progressive new look for the tournament was also unveiled at the draw with a new logo and colours to be used moving forward that reflect the event’s core values and attributes of loyalty, pride and passion.

All eyes were on who would play Thailand - who have claimed the trophy a record five times in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2014 and 2016.

In a rematch of the final two years ago Thailand will host Indonesia on November 17. The Thais triumphed 3-2 on aggregate having lost the opening leg 2-1 in Bogor, Indonesia.

It was the fifth time the Indonesians had finished runner-up in the tournament.

And with Singapore also in Group B old rivalries will be revived as the Singaporeans beat Thailand in the final in 2007 and 2012.

A big roar went up at the draw when Malaysia were paired in Group A avoiding a clash with their old enemy Singapore.

On November 25, the final day of the Group matches, Thailand will play Singapore and Indonesia will compete against the Philippines.

In September Timor-Leste and Brunei will go head to head with the winner progressing to Group B. Timor-Leste host Brunei on September 3 while the return game is on September 8.