LAOS ended defending champion Malaysia’s hopes in the ASEAN Para Games football 5-a-side competition following a 2-1 win over the host in the round robin match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday (Sept 20).
The Malaysians, who only need a draw to qualify for the final, got off to a rousing start with a third minute penalty goal scored by Rollen Marakim. Laos, making their debut in this event, rolled back into the game with goals in the ninth and 19th minutes from Somsak Douangvilay.
The defeat sends Malaysia, who won the gold in Singapore two years ago, down to third in the table standings with just three points to show, leaving Laos (six points) and Thailand to battle for the gold medal.
Thailand also crushed Vietnam’s hopes with a 4-1 victory today and amassed nine points to go top of the five-team table standings. Only the top two teams in the round robin league advance to the final.
The Malaysians will now go head to head against Vietnam to decide on the bronze medal.
“We started off well and even got an early goal. Maybe, the players got complacent along the way and took it easy which allowed Laos to make a strong comeback. It is disappointing to end our hopes of defending the title at this stage. I wished we had qualified for the final.” – SUNNY SHALESH (Malaysian Coach)
“I was always confident in my players’ ability and was confident we will reach the final. They have shown great commitment and determination to win against the Malaysians who have been playing well in the last two matches.” –
YOICHI SHIMANO (Laos Coach)