Laos showed that they are in firm control of Group B of the AFF BIDC Under-16 Championship when they staged a fabulous fight back to beat Timor Leste 3-2 for their second win in two matches.
With both Thailand and Vietnam picking up only their first three points of the competition when they overcame Malaysia 3-1 and Brunei 5-1 respectively, the perfect six points from two matches meant that Laos now sit comfortably at the top of the standings.
But the game was anything but easy for Laos at the Army Stadium as just less than 12 minutes in; they found themselves trailing by two goals.
The heavy torrential downpour just prior to kick-off put paid to Laos quick, passing game as they struggled to dig in at the start as make their presence felt.
It was to be Timor who adjusted better to prevailing conditions to get the better of a water-logged pitch to beat Laos keeper Xaynakhone Dalasean first in the third minute off a rebound shot from Salvador Varela Da Silva.
And in the 12th minute, Xaynakhone was beaten yet again off a cross from Dom Lucas Braz, the waiting Filomeno Da Costa had all the time in the world to head the ball.
But as the rain started to wane and the sun began to clear things, Laos started to gain more and more control.
However the first goal was anything about control when Bounphachan Bounkong stabbed home from close range in the 27th minute before heading in the second off a freekick just seven minutes after the restart.
And just two minutes later, Timor remonstrated their desperation when substitute Roger Rivaldo Lopes was thrown out of the game for picking up his yellow card.
As Timor became more and more pressured, Laos found the space and time for Nalin to toe-poked the ball in for the winner.
Across town at the National Olympic Stadium, Vietnam thumped Brunei 5-1 for their first win in the group.
Vietnam had begun their campaign in the competition this year with a 1-0 loss to Malaysia while for Brunei, they had held Timor Leste to a 2-2 draw.
But this time round, there was no way back for Brunei as Vietnam made their presence felt from the get go.
In the meantime final game of the day, Thailand put their campaign back on track with a fantastic 3-1 win over Malaysia.
A lot more determined, Thailand carved out their first goal of the game after just two minutes when Korawich Tasa headed the ball in from a Sittirak Koetkhumthong.
Jinnawat Russamee then doubled the advantage in the 20th minute from inside the box before unleashing a marvelous freekick in the 35th minute for Thailand to be comfortable at the half.
The Malaysians tried to get their game back into contention after the breather, but all that they could muster was a late strike from Muhammad Nizarruddin Jazi three minutes to the end.
AFF BIDC U16 CHAMPIONSHIP
Laos 3 Timor Leste 2
Brunei DS 1 Vietnam 5
Thailand 3 Malaysia 1
30 July 2015 – Both matches at National Olympic Stadium
1530 – Singapore vs Philippines
1830 – Cambodia vs Australia