AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Five talking points from Laos vs Myanmar

laos vs myanmar

Myanmar came back from a goal down to get the better of Laos in what was a convincing 3-1 win in the end. Phouthone Innalay opened the scoring for the home side at the New Laos National Stadium but goals from Aung Thu, Htet Phyoe Wai and Maung Maung Lwin turned the tie in Myanmar’s favour who earned three crucial points.

Here are the five talking points from the match.

1. New Laos National Stadium empty for the crucial encounter

New Laos National Stadium

Laos desperately needed a win in this encounter to stand a chance of qualifying for the semifinals of the tournament. With an opposition as strong as Mynamar standing in front of them, they needed the home crowd to get behind them.

However, the stadium wore a deserted look and only few of the stands had spectators getting behind the home team. The rest of it was more or less empty.

2. Laos’ start rattles Myanmar

The visitors were taken by surprise as Laos played exhilarating football for the majority of the first half. Myanmar were clearly rattled by the tactics from V. Sundramoorthy’s side who came out all guns blazing.

Laos were rewarded for their early domination when Innalay opened the scoring for them in the 14th minute.

3. Myanmar equalising at the stroke of half-time

Aung Thu

Perhaps, this was the turning point of the match. Laos were dominating the proceedings and Myanmar were seated deep in their half, trying to stop the home side from extending their lead.

However, as it turned out, Aung Thu equalised for them right at the stroke of half-time. As a result, Myanmar went into the break as the more confident side which showed when they came back flying in the second half.

4. Laos didn’t make their chances count

Both Laos and Myanmar registered plenty of shots – 13 each. However, while the visitors were comparatively clinical in front of the goal, Laos were let down by their finishing.

Phithack Kongmathilath, especially, missed some gilt-edged opportunities and hit the post in the 66th minute as well. Clearly, luck didn’t favour the home side who lost all hope as the full-time approached.

5. Laos ‘Messi’ Soukaphone Vongchiengkham tried but failed

Soukaphone Vongchiengkham1

A lot was being said about Vongchiengkham and how he came back after leaving the team midway through the tournament. The 26-year-old did everything in his capacity to get his team over the line but was let down by his teammates.

His best moment came in the 66th minute when he dribbled past three Myanmar defenders to set Phithack Kongmathilath for a goal. However, the latter failed to capitalise on the chance and the home side fell to a 1-3 loss ultimately.