Bangkok: Defending champions Thailand will play Vietnam in the final of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 after easing to a 3-0 victory over Malaysia in the second leg of the semi-final on Tuesday to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

Having lost the first leg 1-0 in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Thailand began the return meeting at Thammasat Stadium with intent and Teerasil Dangda headed them in front inside 20 minutes before Bordin Phala added a second ten minutes into the second half.

Substitute Adisak Kraisorn netted the hosts’ third with a little under 20 minutes to play as the War Elephants returned to the main event for a record-extending 10th time.

Holding a slender one-goal advantage from the first leg, Malaysia head coach Kim Pan-gon made four changes with Safawi Rasid among those dropped to the bench, while Thailand head coach Mano Polking chose Kampon Phatomakkakul ahead of Kittipong Phoothawchuek in goal.

Thailand dominated the early stages as Malaysia sat deep and absorbed the pressure, but the hosts had a sight on goal in the 17th minute when Teerasil knocked a header into the path of Bordin, whose powerful effort from the left side of the penalty area was parried out by goalkeeper Syihan Hazmi.

However, the first goal did arrive in the 19th minute when Theerathon Bunmathan delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left for Teerasil to nod home his sixth goal of the tournament from the edge of the six-yard box.

Malaysia finally had their first attempt on goal eight minutes before the interval with Darren Lok heading Hakim Hassan’s cross from the left straight at Kampon before Mukhairi Ajmal curled a free-kick directly at the Thai custodian shortly after in a pair of warning signs to the War Elephants.

Teerasil was a surprise withdrawal at half-time as Polking brought on Adisak in his place, but Thailand continued to dominate and doubled their advantage 10 minutes after the restart.

Suphanan Bureerat threaded a lovely ball into Ekanit Panya, who sent a perfect cutback from the right side of the area for Bordin to sweep into the far corner with a composed finish from 12 yards out.

Safawi was introduced midway through the second half as the Harimau Malaya sought a way back into the game, but it was Thailand who netted the third goal to give the visitors a mountain to climb.

This time Ekanit played in Suphanan, whose low cross from the right was met by Adisak and, after his initial effort rebounded off the post, the striker was on hand to tap in his second of the campaign.

One-way traffic ensued and Peeradol Chamrasamee curled just wide in the last minute after being teed up by Ekanit, but a fourth was not forthcoming as the War Elephants saw out the 3-0 win.

Thailand will next travel to Hanoi to face Vietnam in the first leg of the final at My Dinh National Stadium on Friday before returning to Bangkok for the second leg on Monday.