VIENTIANE (1 Nov 2012) – With slightly over three weeks to go to their first game of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012, Laos will have to find the right formula to make sure that they are not at the championship just to make up the numbers.
And that responsibility falls to none other than Laos chief coach Kokichi Kimura (extreme left in pix), who took over responsibility at the helm barely three months ago.
The team, which made the cut to the final round of the meet by virtue of finishing second at the qualifiers last month, was laid bare at the recent VFF Cup where they finished last in the four-team championship.
They scored three as against conceding 12 goals in the three matches they played in Ho Chi Minh City.
Despite taking a 12th minute lead through Patthana Syvilay, Laos lost their first game 4-1 to eventual champions Korea University Selection. In the second match, Laos were totally whitewashed 4-0 by Vietnam before conceding a 4-2 loss to Turkmenistan in their final game in the group.
It is obvious that the loss of striker Lamnao Singto to injury weighs heavy on the side that has been placed in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup against hosts Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
But should Laos wish to avoid finishing the preliminary round at the bottom of the heap, then in these last few weeks in the build-up to their first game in the group against Indonesia, they will have to show vast improvement from the performance they had just put up in the VFF Cup.
Kimura has to find not only solution but also options to their front line.