Three times champions Thailand maintained their perfect record in the Southeast Asian championships with a 1-0 semi-final, first-leg win away to Indonesia on Tuesday.
Thailand, who have been reinvigorated since the arrival of English coach Peter Reid in July, attacked from the start and silenced the raucous crowd after only five minutes when Teerasil Dangda's header looped into the top corner from 10 metres.
They could have scored three more times inside the first 24 minutes, with playmaker Datsakorn Thonglao's neat free kick well saved by the Indonesian goalkeeper and striker Teerathep Winothai twice going close.
Fullback Suree Sukha almost made it 2-0 after 39 minutes when his goal bound effort was cleared off the line. Datsakorn's lofted free kick then struck the bar soon after the break which was the first of his two clear second-half chances.
Indonesia battled to equalise in the last five minutes but were kept at bay by the resolute Thais, who extended their winning run to four games having scored 12 goals with none conceded.
"They're playing with pace, they're mixing it up and they have a desire to win," Reid said of his team. "I'm disappointed we didn't convert our chances, we had so many, but other than that, the team has been excellent," he told Reuters.