SURABAYA (5 Aug 2018) – Laos have taken the advantage for a place in the semi-finals of the AFF Under-16 Championship following their scoreless draw against leaders Thailand in the second match of Group B here at the Joko Samudro Stadium.
With Thailand uninspired considering that a draw would be enough for them to win the group; Laos were fighting tooth and nail to win the one point.
“The boys played according to plan and it showed that we can resist Thailand,” said Laos head coach Kanlaya Sysomvang.
“They played with the right defensive mentality and their concentration was evident throughout.”
The Thais created few chances throughout the encounter with the battle restricted to mostly at the centre of the park.
For Laos, they tried hard in search of the goal but with striker Chony Wenpaserth having a quiet night, there was little in terms of excitement.
The best that Thailand could muster was right at the end with a double chance from Sattawas Leela’s freekick that went well over while diminutive Punnawat Chote-Jirachalton should have made a better finish of an open goal.
“Laos were motivated but we were more concerned playing to tactics and team philosophy,” added Thailand head coach Thongchai Rungreangleas.
The draw gave Laos seven points from three matches played as against Malaysia’s six points from the same number of games.
In the meantime, Malaysia coasted past Singapore 4-0 as they look to their final match against Laos in two days for the decisive spot into the next round of the championship.
With Thailand already booking their place in the semi-finals and where a win over Laos later tonight should cement their place as group winners, the Malaysians needed the win against Singapore to ensure a fighting chance for progression.
And while the Malaysians might not be impressive, it was at least a marked improvement from their last game against Brunei.
“The early goal gave the team confidence but their performance was not very good,” said Malaysian head coach Raja Azlan Shah.
“That was probably because they needed to conserve their energy for their next game (against Laos) which is more important.”
With Singapore looking lethargic, the Malaysians played with full of confidence as they passed the ball around before slotting in the lead after just eight minutes through Aliff Daniel Abdul Aziz.
They then added their second goal of the game off Harith Naem Jaineh in the 33rd minute before adding two more goals after the break off Muhammad Fahmi Daniel Mohd Zaaim in the 46th minute and then an own goal from Singapore’s Muhammad Ryaan Sanizal ten minutes later.
From then on, the Malaysians were just passing the ball around with little commitment to go forward as Singapore struggled to get the ball into their opponent’s box.
“Our sense of anticipation was very poor and this allowed the Malaysian team managed to get behind our defenders,” said Singapore head coach Ryo Shigaki.
“Our biggest problem is the lack of experience and this is something which we need to work on.”
5 Aug 2018 – Group B
Malaysia 4 Singapore 0
Laos 0 Thailand 0
6 Aug 2018 – Group A
1500: Timor Leste vs Philippines (Joko Samudro Stadium)
1530: Vietnam vs Myanmar (Delta Sidoarjo Stadium)
1900: Cambodia vs Indonesia (Delta Sidoarjo Stadium)