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Crowd spurs Laos to well earned Myanmar draw

Sunday, December 6, 2009 , Posted by samakomlao at 6:16 PM

The collective voice of more than 20,000 spectators on Saturday at the National Stadium shouting “Lao sou sou!” (go, Laos, go!) carried Lao footballers to a well deserved draw in their match against Myanmar .

Supporters formed a sea of red, white and blue as they energetically waved Lao flags, beat on drums and hooted on horns.

The stadium was packed with groups of families and friends all cheering for their team as Lao footballers turned out for their tournament debut against former SEA Games silver medallists Myanmar .

Before the match began, the tide of goodwill and the surge of enthusiasm quickened the pulse of the national team as they stood for the national anthem and gazed around at the packed stands singing in unison.

After the match Lao Men's Football Team Manager Viphet Sihachackr made his delight clear and offered his thanks to Lao supporters for cheering the team on and boosting the spirits of his men at this vital game.

“The cheering spurred on our players to do their best against a tough opponent. In the end we only managed a 1-1 draw but we have to remember that Myanmar were the runners-up at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand in 2007,” he said.

The team was also pleased at the evident enjoyment of the spectators.

After the match both coaches told press they would be playing five matches in the tournament but of course only one team from the group would secure a berth in the final.

Lao coach Alfred Riedl said he learnt a lot from the match and would use this as homework for the Lao squad. In general he was happy with the way the team played and glad that fans enjoyed the game so much.

“I will change from offensive to defensive because today's match showed up some mistakes in this area. I believe we can put on an even better display against Indonesia next week,” he said.

Myanmar coach Drago Mamic complained that the referee had not strictly followed competition rules and he was not happy with several of the decisions made during the game. But he congratulated the Lao footballers on their good play.

From the outset of the match Laos tried desperately to score and in the 5th minute got a free kick from the penalty area. But Kaysone Soukhavong's shot sailed over the crossbar. Laos had another opportunity in the 15th minute when Kaysone was faulted by a Myanmar defender and Lamnao Singto shot a free kick which curved towards the net but was saved by the Myanmar goalkeeper.

As hungry as Laos was to score, they couldn't find the back of the net. Meanwhile, Myanmar was counter-attacking and tried equally hard to get through the Lao defence without success.

In the 32nd minute Myanmar striker Tun Tun Win took control of the ball and wove his way through the Lao defenders. He powered the ball towards the goal but it soared over the crossbar.

In the 40th minute Myanmar defender Khin Maung Lwin fouled Lamnao. Kaysone took the free kick for Laos but the Myanmar goalkeeper deftly pushed the ball away from the net. The away team pummelled the goal mouth until Kyaw Thiha put his team on the scoreboard at 1-0.

In the second half, Laos tried their best to score but the Myanmar players put up a tough defence and the home side was unable to get the ball through.

Finally in the 69th minute Laos saw their name in lights when Kaysone passed the ball to Khampheng Sayavutthi and equalised. The 1-1 score remained the same until the final whistle.

In 2005 Laos beat Myanmar 3-2 at the 23rd SEA Games in the Philippines , but Myanmar improved their play and took the silver medal at the next SEA Games.

Also on Saturday, Singapore 's Muhammad Safuwan Bin scored first for Singapore in the 6th minute of their match with Indonesia , followed by Mohammad Shaiful Bin Esah Nain who made it 2-0 in the 23rd. But Stevie Bonsapia and Rendy pulled two back for Indonesia , levelling the score at 2-2.

Today, Laos will take on Indonesia and Singapore will face Myanmar in matches at the Chao Anouvong Stadium starting at 3pm.

December 6:

Vietnam vs. Malaysia (3-1)

Cambodia vs. Timor Leste (4-1)

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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