Laos overpower Brunei

Laos overpower Brunei

Khampheng Sayavutthi and substitute Kanlaya Sysomvang converted second-half penalties as Laos came from behind to beat Brunei Darussalam 3-1 on Thursday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Final Round of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Laos fans had plenty to celebrate

Brunei captain Rosmin Kamis had fired his side ahead Youth Training Centre in Yangon with a 26th minute free-kick but Kovanh Namthavixay capitalised on a defensive slip to level the score before Khampheng and Kanlaya scored from the spot after the break to ease the Indochinese side to their second win in the Qualification Round.

With the win, the Laotians moved level on six points with Timor Leste and hosts Myanmar, who they will meet in their final qualifying match on Saturday. Brunei remained on three points and need to beat Timor Leste by a big margin on Saturday and hope that other results go their way in order to advance.

The first real opportunity of the match fell to Laos in the 10th minute when Ketsada Souksavanh regathered the ball after he had hit the wall with his free-kick from 20 metres and fired in a low shot which forced a diving stop from goalkeeper Wardun Yusof.

Despite featuring six changes from the side that lost 3-1 to Timor Leste on Tuesday, Laos appeared the better organised side early on but they nearly conceded in the 13th minute when goalkeeper Sengphachan Bounthisanh dropped the ball in his box which allowed Azwan Ali Rahman to feed Aminudding Tahir, who sent his hasty attempt just wide of the left upright.

On 26 minutes, Brunei earned a free-kick 25 metres from goal after Najip Tarif had been brought down by Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya and Rosmin curled a brilliant right-footed shot into the top left corner to make it 1-0.

Najip wasted an opportunity to extend his side’s lead in the 33rd minute when sent a glancing header wide and he would rue that miss when Laos equalised just a minute later as Kovanh took advantage of a slip by a Brunei defender to gather the ball just inside the Laos box before chipping it past Wardun and just inside the right post.

There was more action before the break as Wardunn made good saves to deny Visay Phaphouvannin and Sopha while at the other end, Adi Said saw his backward header come back off the Laotian crossbar.

The Laotians squandered an excellent opportunity to take the lead early in the second half. Khampheng outpaced the Brunei defence on the left of the box and fired a rising shot that came back off the crossbar and rebounded to an unmarked Visay, who took his time to size up the shot from eight metres out but screwed his volley hopelessly wide of the target.

On the hour mark, Laos were awarded a penalty after Sairol Sahari felled Visay right on the edge of the Brunei box and despite having to retake the spot kick after his first attempt was chalked off for encroachment by his teammates, Khampheng kept his cool to tuck the ball into the bottom left corner.

Sengphachan helped to preserve the lead as he kept out Azwan’s shot on the turn in the 64th minute and then came off his line to stop Shahrazen Said when he was sent clear in the 71st minute. Azwan had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but his header was ruled out for offside.

But Laos would have a second penalty controversially awarded eight minutes from time after Soukaphone Vongchiengkham appeared to go down easily under Afi Aminuddin’s challenge and Kanlaya duly sent Wardun the wrong way from the spot to seal the win.

This article first appeared on the official AFF Suzuki Cup website. Be sure to follow the AFF Suzuki Cup on Facebooktwitter and follow all the action LIVE on their official YouTube channel.

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