VIENTIANE (8 June 2012) – Laos beat nine-man Thailand 3-0 to finish third in the AFF Under-16 Preparatory Tournament 2012 here at the Lao National Stadium.
In the match that was always going to be volatile, the Thais put up a much better display when compared to their first meeting earlier when the two sides battled to a 1-o win for the hosts.
But with the rain coming down for the first time in the tournament this year, the pace of the game will be pegged down somewhat even though Laos did welcome the return of striker Armysay Kettavong.
At the start, both teams were cautious and were not willing to commit too much although Laos did come close in the fifth minute through who else but Armysay only for him to muff his chance altogether.
Thailand responded in the 14th minute with a superb freekick from Kunawut Maperm but he narrowly missed his intended target.
With the score tied at the break, the second half saw both teams growing in frustration, more so for the home side as in spite of the rain, several thousand still turn up at the stands to support the youngsters.
In the 54th minute, a dipping shot from Anoukone Keola off a freekick saw Thai custodian Apirak Worawong scrambling for the save.
But a clash in the 63rd minute which saw Thai midfielder Kittikai Juntaraksa picking up his second red card in two matches would change the temperament and ultimately the outcome of the tie.
In the 75th minute, as Laos piled on the pressure on the Thai backline, a cross from Jo Sandala was out into the back of the net by Thai defender Jutitep Tonglim. And several exchanges to be followed by some late tackles later, saw Thailand defender Supravee Miprathang picking up his second yellow card of the game.
Referee Steve Supresencia of the Philippines showed Supravee the marching orders as Thailand were forced to play the remainder of the match with nine men. With the numerical advantage that they had and as Thailand tire down in the closing stages, Laos then proceeded to add two more goals through Southavone Thammada and Jo Sandala.
AFF UNDER-16 PREPARATORY TOURNAMENT 2012
(All matches at the Lao National Stadium, KM16)
2 June 2012: AUSTRALIA 1 JAPAN 1 / THAILAND 0 LAOS 1
4 June 2012: JAPAN 3 THAILAND 0 / LAOS 2 AUSTRALIA 3
6 June 2012: AUSTRALIA 4 THAILAND 2 / JAPAN 3 LAOS 0
8 June 2012: LAOS 3 THAILAND 0 / Japan vs Australia (1900)