Ayeyawady United host Lao Toyota FC on Wednesday evening in a tantalising Group H encounter in the AFC Cup.
Ayeyawady from Myanmar will be smarting after they were smashed 8-1 by Johor DT two weeks ago in their opening fixture in the AFC Cup. That heavy defeat has left them at the bottom of the group without any points and with a very poor goal difference.
The only consolation from that outing was a goal from Thiha Zaw. However, if The Fishermen defend like they did they will need far more than one goal from the 22-year-old forward.
On the contrary, Lao Toyota will be in great spirits after a 2-1 win at home against Bengaluru a fortnight ago. The scoreline was closer than how that game actually played out as the Lao Premier League side conceded very late in the match when the outcome had been all but confirmed.
Valakone Phomphakdy’s men are in second spot in Group H as they only trail Johor DT on goal difference.
Lao Toyota will look to their veteran forward Kazuo Honma and 25-year-old midfielder Phatthala Syvilay to score the goals for them. Both players’ confidence levels will be high after they both hit the back of the net against Bengaluru.
“Last year we shared a group Ayeyawady so we know them well; we know they are strong and we must concentrate in this match but I think we’re well prepared,” said Lao Toyota coach Valakone Phomphakdy.
“We’ve changed our coach, our system and some of our players since then. We’re hoping to play better than last year.
“In our first match at home we won three points. Away from home things are different but we still hope to bring points back.”
Ayeyawady, meanwhile, must try and respond to their massive defeat two weeks ago, although coach Kyaw Lwin is staying positive.
“Losing 8-1 didn’t affect our confidence. We have respect for our opponents and they had more power than us. But that result didn’t affect the confidence of our team,” said Lwin.
“The coming match is the most important. Three points tomorrow will give us a chance to qualify, anything else and it will be very difficult to advance.”
The match kicks-off at 17:30 (HKT).