Hosts Laos found the start they were seeking when they secured a hard-fought 3-2 win over Cambodia in the second match on the opening day of the AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Round here last night. Striker Khampheng Sayavutth scored twice tonight, including the winner, to set Laos on track for a place in the final rounds next month.
After taking a 2-0 lead, Laos allowed Cambodia back in the game and with ten minutes on the clock, the score was tied at 2-2. In the 81st minute, Laos were awarded a freekick on the left corner of the box. Khampheng stepped up and despite the immense pressure, somehow kept his cool and sensationally curled the ball into the net.
“We made a mistake after going two goals up. The players were in a celebratory mood and that allowed Cambodia to hit back and made a game of it,” said Laos coach David Booth afterwards. “It was a good lesson and certainly we can’t do this again the next time.”
Playing in front of their own fans, Laos were determined to get ahead. Despite their best attempts, Laos were unable to get their shots in. Nippy striker Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham was all over the Cambodian defence but could not find a way through.
The Cambodians had a few cracks but their shots were also off the mark.
In the 38th minute, Laos received a freekick which Ketsada Souksavanh lobbed deep in but Khampheng Sayavutth’s header swerved left of the post. In the final minutes of the half, Khonesavanh Sihavong had a great chance but the Cambodian defender quickly closed in on him before he was able to take a shot.
Souk Aphone continued to bother the Cambodian defence but in the 54th minute, it was Khonesavanh Sihavong who managed to weave his way through and sneaked in the opening goal. Laos doubled the score through Khampheng in the 70thminute. Then, in a three-minute spree, Cambodia levelled the score with goals from Khuon Laboravy and Sok Chanrasmey in the 73rg and 75th minutes.
Laos refused to give up, and with the support of their fans, bagged the winner in the 81st minute through Khampheng.
“It was always very hard to play against the hosts in the opening game,” added Cambodian coach Lee Tae Hoon, “I thought that the players were professional. They were two goals down and they came back. There was only one person who was not professional on the pitch tonight.”
LAOS: Soukthavy Soundala (GK), Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya, Ketsada Souksavanh (cpt), Saison Khiunsamnan, Phoutdavy Phommasane, Khonesavanh Sihavong, Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham, Vilayout Sayyabounsou, Sengdao Inthilath, Paseuthsack Souliyavong, Khampheng Sayavutth
Scorer: Khonesavanh Sihavong (54th), Khampheng Sayavutth (70th, 81st)
Yellow: Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham (32nd), Khonesavanh Sihavong (54th)
Head coach: David Booth
CAMBODIA: Sou Yaty (GK), Soeuy Visal, Sok Sovan, Khuon Laboravy, Kouch Sokumpheak (cpt), Chan Vathanaka, Sos Suhana, Ngoy Srin, Say Piseth, Hong Pheng, Rous Samoeun
Yellow: Kouch Sokumpheak (12th), Ngoy Srin (38th), Say Piseth (49th)
Head coach: Lee Tae Hoon
Referee: Adham Mohammed (Jor)
Assistant referee 1: Ahmad Moannes (Jor)
Assistant referee 2: Karakami Satoshi (Jpn)
Fourth official: Iido Jumpei (Jpn)
Match Commissioner: Chaichok Poompuang (Tha)
Referee Assessor: Mohd Ali Samad (Sin)
General Coordinator: Joseph Samuel (AFF)
Timor Leste bt Brunei 4-2
Laos bt Cambodia 3-2
Tuesday, 14th Oct 2014
1530: Brunei vs Laos
1830: Myanmar vs Timor Leste
Thursday, 16th Oct 2014
1530: Timor Leste vs Cambodia
1830: Brunei vs Myanmar
Saturday, 18th Oct 2014
1530: Cambodia vs Myanmar
1830: Laos vs Timor Leste
Monday, 20th Oct 2014
1700: Myanmar vs Laos (National Sports Complex Stadium)
1700: Cambodia vs Brunei (Chao Anouvong Stadium)