Hosts Laos found some consolation in finishing third in the AFF Under-19 Championship when they edged Malaysia 3-2 (1-1) in a thrilling penalty shootout at the National Sports Complex Stadium here today.
After going down to Vietnam in the semifinals two days ago, the Laos players managed to put aside the disappointment of failing to make the final to grab the bronze. Victory did not come easy for Laos who were stunned by a last minute goal from Malaysia.
With five minutes to go, Laos finally broke through to take the lead through Phathana Phommathep. Just when the game looked all over, Thipanraj Subramaniam broke away to level the score.
Thipan would later miss the crucial last penalty which would hand the third placing to Laos.
It was a subdued start as players took some time to settle down. In fact, they took a little longer than normal to get going but this could partly be attributed to their disappoinment at losing their semifinal matches.
Hosts Laos went down to Vietnam while Malaysia were whipped by the Thais.
Both sides had their fair share of chances but failed to make good their attempts. In the dying minutes of the first half, Somsavanth Sophabmixay almost knocked his effort in from the right but it was blocked by the keeper.
A few minutes on, Badrul Amin Rusalan crossed his shot over the box but Kogileswaran Mohana Raj’s header was saved.
Laos picked up the pace after the break, they seemed more intent on getting the goals. They launched numerous attacks on the Malaysians but all their attempts fizzled out before they could get the final touch in.
Finally, a little luck in the 86th minute saw the home side break the duck, and possibly avoid a shootout for the third placing.
Phathana appeared to cross from the right but the ball swung over the Malaysian keeper and dropped into goal.
With the clock showing 90 minuutes and the Laos fans already celebrating, Thipan would silence them with a lovely header to level the score and force the game into the shootout. There was no extratime.
MAS – Mohamed Syamer Kutty Abba – GOAL
LAO – Sinthanong Phanvongsa – NIL (GK saved)
MAS – Muhammad Rizalul – NIL (GK saved)
LAO – Piyaphong Pathammavong – GOAL
MAS – Kogileswaran Raj – NIL (GK saved)
LAO – Anouwath Phaphardy – GOAL
MAS – Muhammad Shahrul Akmal – GOAL
LAO – Maitee – GOAL
MAS – Thipanraj Subramaniam – NIL (GK saved)