Laos put up a much better performance than they did last month to hold Maldives to a 1-1 draw as Timor Leste conceded an identical 2-1 loss to Chinese Taipei in the final round of qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
With Maldives having chalked up a 4-0 win in the first leg in Male last month, the tie at the National Stadium in Vientiane was just a formality as Laos did enough not to lose at home.
Khonesavanh Sihavong finally found the opening ten minutes to the end for the first goal of the game before Maldives replied with the equaliser through substitute Nashid Ahmed right at the end.
“We lost our main man Khampheng (Sayavutthi) in the early minutes, so we had to change the tactics. He would have helped a lot in the attack if he had stayed,” said Laos coach Valakone Phomphakdy.
IN THE MEANTIME, Timor Leste conceded a second 2-1 loss to Chinese Taipei to make their exit from a place in the final round of the qualifiers.
Chen Yi-wei gave his side the perfect start with the lead after just ten minutes as Chen Hao-wei then added the second goal 15 minutes from time.
Jose Maria Oliveira scored the consolation for Timor-Leste minutes later.
“We were not in the game in the first half and I didn’t recognise my team,” said Timor-Leste coach Fernando Alcantara.
“But we were better in the second half. We had a lot of young players in the side today. Six of the players that finished were Under-19 so it is a great experience for them and I am proud of their performance.”