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Lessons learned for AFF Suzuki Cup hopefuls

Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia all lost warm-up matches for the AFF Suzuki Cup at the weekend.

The Thais went down 2-0 to English Championship side Leicester City, Vietnam were beaten 3-1 by Asian Cup-bound India and Indonesia were hammered 7-1 by World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay.

Thailand produced some bright football against their more powerful opponents but were dumped by first-half goals from Martyn Waghorn and Paul Gallagher as former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson tasted victory in his first match in charge of the Foxes.

Thailand coach Bryan Robson said his players did well against good opposition although many of them looked jaded after a tough playing schedule in the Thai Premier League, the League Cup and the FA Cup.

Vietnam fell to an Indian team that have been training and playing together for three months in preparation for the Asian Cup next January.

Star striker Sunil Chhetri grabbed a hat-trick for India while Vu Nhu Thanh scored from the spot for Vietnam at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.

Vietnam were second best for the majority of the match but threatened more after the introduction of Nguyen Trong Hoang and Nguyen Viet Thang who combined well up front.

Indonesia started brightly against Uruguay but soon ran out of steam and fell to hat-tricks from Luis Suarez and Edson Cavani and a strike from Sebastian Eguren.

The Indonesians shocked Uruguay by taking the lead through Boaz Solossa in the 18th minute but they wilted badly after that. "My players have only played twice (recently) in the domestic league, so they are not fully fit," said Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl.

"If you look at the first half, they kept the game close in the first 15 minutes. But after the first 30 minutes, you can see fatigue setting in and they lost their concentration.

"I believe my team will only get better, and that things will be much improved come the AFF Suzuki Cup in December."

Indonesia will play Thailand, Malaysia and the winners of the qualifying tournament in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup while co-hosts Vietnam take on Singapore, Myanmar and the runners-up from qualifying in Group B.