| VIENTIANE (3 Oct 2009) – It was all square on the first day of the pre-SEA Games when all four teams – Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Veitnam – battled to two drawn matches with eight goals being scored at the new National Stadium.
Malaysia were denied a win by a late gasp from Thailand while hosts Laos, the only side to feature an Under-23 side, were could not get past Vietnam in front of their home fans.
Both games ended in 2-2 results.
Laos, who have been training since last year at Vietnam club HAGL, fought back from two-goals down before they were able to eke out the one point in front of their home fans.
Vietnam were the stronger side on the day when they carved out the lead through Ngo Hoang Thinh in the 11th minute before Ha Minh Tuan then added the second goal of the afteroon just four minutes after the restart.
But buoyed by a boisterous home support, Laos came back through Kaysone Soukhavong in the 66th minute and then Lamnao Singtao blasting in the well deserved equaliser eight minutes to the end.
In the meantime, the Malaysian side who are represented by their U19 squad under head coach Ong Kim Swee, opened account through Khairul Izuan Rosli in the 34th minute.
But the Thais, who were recently crowned AFF U19 champions, fought back when they converted a penalty in the 60th minute.
Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor restored Malaysia’s lead when he beat Thai goalkeeper Wasan Narsuan from an acute angle in the 75th minute.
However, a defensive lapse a minute from the end saw the Thais drew level to salvage a point.
Malaysia will play Vietnam tomorrow at the same venue before wrapping up their campaign against Laos on Tuesday.