The 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup has been a fascinating tournament for those interested in the defensive side of the game with a fleet of modern-day ball-playing central defenders, dynamic wing-backs and more traditional full-backs all shining.

Even with the thrilling attacking play we saw across the group stage there were still an impressive 14 clean sheets chalked up with Vietnam and Thailand responsible for half of that tally so it’s little surprise that they feature heavily on our list of nominees.

Make sure to vote below for who you think should be crowned the Best Defender of the Group Stage.


Alfeandra Dewangga (Indonesia)


A key cog in an Indonesian side that grew match-by-match across the group stage, the 20-year-old is participating at his first major international tournament.

That makes his efforts even the more impressive as he displayed a calm presence under pressure and a keen reading of the play that saw him lead his nation in clearances and interceptions as well as chipping in with an assist in the win over Laos. 

Kritsada Kaman (Thailand)


At the heart of a Thailand team that conceded just one goal across the group stage, the 22-year was a strong presence, leading his team in interceptions and recoveries and also impressing in one-on-one situations. 

Narubadin Weerawatnodom (Thailand)


A dynamic threat on the right flank for Thailand where he’s been sound in his defensive work and also a highly reliable outlet when pushing forward where he’s already produced three assists. 

Que Ngoc Hai (Vietnam)

Long having gained a reputation for being a defensive powerhouse, the Golden Star Warriors are yet to concede a single goal at the tournament.

With the four options for the three central defensive spots each having started three matches it’s hard to pick one clear standout but the captain Ngoc Hai gets the slight nod here as he’s had the highest number of recoveries as well as being strong on the ball and in his overall positioning and reading of the play. 

Safuwan Baharudin (Singapore)


A rock at the back for a Singapore side that conceded only three times in the group stage, the 30-year-old central defender was efficient in his tackling and passing, strong in his positioning and reading of the play where he made 13 recoveries whilst also getting on the scoresheet in his nation’s opening match.

He’s also had the second highest number of shots of any Lion over the first four matches. 

Daisuke Sato (Philippines)

The left-back was impressive at both ends of the pitch as he led his nation in interceptions and recoveries as well as having more passes in the opposition half than any other Azkals player at the tournament.