YANGON (8 Sept 2011) – Indonesia salvaged a precious 3-3 draw against Laos as Vietnam thumped Brunei 7-0 on the first match day of Group B of the AFF Under-19 Championship that was played at the Youth Training Centre.
As expected, the rain came down hard just an hour before the match and that changed the tempo of the game for both Laos and Indonesia – two sides well known for their hard running, passing game.
“The boys fought hard when we were down 3-1 and that spoke a lot about their character,” said Zulkilfi Alfat, the chief coach of Indonesia.
“I told the players that they must not give up even when they are down and that it was important for them to fight all the way until the final whistle.”
Indonesia were the early aggressors and they were quick to take the lead in the 15th minute when Muhammad Jamil Khairi played the ball back for captain Syahru Ramadhan to score.
But the loss of defender Suherman for Indonesia for a second bookable offence in just ten minutes later handed Laos the initiative and they were rightly nailed the equaliser off an innocuous shot from Sengdao Inthilath three minutes later.
They then grabbed a 2-1 lead at the half off a strike from Xaisongkham Champathong in the 39th minute.
In the 65th minute, Indonesia fell further behind when Souliya Syphasay nailed the third goal for Laos with a curling freekick which had Indonesian keeper Goldy Aulia Rizan firmly rooted.
But with the two-goal advantage, over confidence began to seep into the Laotian game for Indonesian captain Syahru to score his second goal of the evening in the 82nd minute when he capitalised on a mistake from Laos keeper Soukthavy Soundala.
Then deep in injury time, Indonesia finally scored the al-important equaliser when Rahmat Saputro broke through the Laos defence to score.
“We were lucky in the first half when Indonesia got the red card,” said Veunsavanh Sivisay, the chief coach of Laos.
“We made some mistakes in the second half and we let in a late goal.
In the meantime, Vietnam faced little difficulty to beat Brunei 7-0 in the second game of the day.
“We are just glad that we got the first three points in the competition. It is always good to win,” said Trieu Quang Ha, the chief coach of Vietnam.
“We are also pleased with the number of goals scored as I believe that in a competition as close as this, it will all come down to goal difference.”
The score at the end of the first half was 4-0 with goals off a brace each from Nguyen Thanh Hien (15th and 25th minute) and Nguyen Xuan Nam (17th and 23rd).
Vietnam were more relaxed in the second half although Thanh Hien did complete his hat –trick with his third goal in the game in the 71st minute before further goals from Phan Ding Thang (74th) and Nguyen Tuan Vu (83rd).
“What we have learned from this game is the need to be physically stronger especially when we are playing against a fast team like Vietnam,” added Zainuddin Kassim, the chief coach of Brunei.
“We slowed down the game in the second half as the players were not really fit and that probably saved us a bigger score line.”
Group A: Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia
Group B: Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Brunei DS
RESULTS and FIXTURES (All matches at Youth Training Centre unless stated otherwise
8 Sept: LAOS 3 INDONESIA 3 / BRUNEI DS 0 VIETNAM 7
9 Sept: Philippines vs Singapore (1530) / Cambodia vs Malaysia (1810)
10 Sept: Vietnam vs Myanmar (1530) / Brunei DS vs Laos (1810)
11 Sept: Malaysia vs Thailand (1530) / Cambodia vs Philippines (1810)
12 Sept: Myanmar vs Brunei DS (1530) / Indonesia vs Vietnam (1810)
13 Sept: Thailand vs Cambodia (1530) / Singapore vs Malaysia (1810)
14 Sept: Brunei DS vs Indonesia (1530) / Laos vs Myanmar (1810)
15 Sept: Cambodia vs Singapore (1530) / Philippines vs Thailand (1810)
16 Sept: Vietnam vs Laos (1530) / Indonesia vs Myanmar (1810)
17 Sept: Malaysia vs Philippines (1530) / Singapore vs Thailand (1810)
18 Sept: Rest Day
19 Sept: Winner A vs Runner-up B (1530) / Winner B vs Runner-up A (1810)
20 Sept: Rest Day
21 Sept: 3rd/4th Placing (1530) / Final (1810)