“I am very proud of the girls’ achievements across this tournament, the way they finished in the competition is a real testament to their character, application and progress over the last three weeks," Young Matildas coach Leah Blayney said.

It was only the second time the Young Matildas had reached the final of the tournament, previously being runners-up to Japan's U23 side in 2013 and it was the second time they had met Thailand this tournament.

The first being in their group stage matches, which saw Thailand take a 4-2 win and top the group so it didn't take to long for both sides to bring the game to life for this final. 

Thailand were strong in defence, cutting out the balls the Young Matildas put anywhere near the box but it was the final direct pass which was lacking from the young forwards.

This would open up an opportunity for Thailand, as they were able to make quick counter-attacks but their forwards were met by a strong defence which the Young Matildas seemed to implement after their previous meeting with Thailand.

The persistence from the Young Matildas paid off though as Mary Fowler, who is only 15-year-old, added her ninth goal in six matches to give them the lead. 

Jada Whyman was a rock between the post as Thailand flung in strong shots and crosses.

Her experience was invaluable near the end of the second half as Thailand had a chance to equalise through Suchawadee Nildhamrong after a poor clearance but Whyman was able to make a save.

Whyman continued her form into the second half, being called upon again and again to make critical saves as Thailand searched for a goal. 

It was the Matildas who got the first goal of the second half as Fowler put it away, cementing her the Golden Boot trophy, but Thailand replied no less than a minute later. 

Thailand had the momentum and used it to their advantage as Orathai Srimanee scored after her shot found the top right-hand corner before another stunning strike, this time from Rattikan Thongsombut, saw them take the lead.

The Young Matildas continued to have their chances but Thailand also challenged in front of goal as they looked to seal the title. 

In the end, Thailand settled for the scoreline as they lifted their fourth AFF Women's title since 2011. 

"The players embraced everything we threw at them, whether it be a change of position or further emphasising how we wanted them to play the game and apply our principles with and without the ball,” Blayney said.

"It is always a great honour to represent your country, and the girls did themselves and their family and friends proud,” she said.