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Lao footballers take on Myanmar in first match

Thursday, December 3, 2009 , Posted by samakomlao at 5:24 PM

Both men's and women's football teams will play their first matches against Myanmar , which has proved in past SEA Games competitions to be a formidable opponent.

The matches will take place on December 3 and 5 at the National University of Laos stadium and the National Stadium.

Lao Men's Football Team Manager Viphet Sihachakr said yesterday he thought his team would play five matches in the tournament because the players were well prepared both in terms of training and fitness.

“ Myanmar is a strong SEA Games team. They were runners-up at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand in 2007 but that's in the past. Today I believe our athletes can do better than before due to our experience from the many test matches we played,” he said.

Lao footballers lost many tournaments in the run-up to the 25th SEA Games. But coaches and team assistants have worked hard to improve the players' skills and the team manager has confirmed the team's performance is already 30 percent better since their last match.

“One thing we have to remember is that playing at home we have an advantage because our supporters will be cheering us on, just as they did at the 4-Nations Football Tournament. I was delighted to see so many Lao fans in the stadium all shouting for us. This is just great for our players,” Mr Viphet said.

He asked football fans to continue to cheer on the players, saying their support would make them stronger and better able to fight for their country.

Lao hopes are also riding with the women's football team.

Lao Women's Football Team Manager Ms Valy Vessaphong said she had asked Myanmar to send a team for a friendly game in Laos before the SEA Games but they declined, saying they were too busy.

“This will be a big match because we've never met them since we lost to them 0-6 at the 24th SEA Games. But now things are different. Our players have improved and are ready for their first match,” Ms Valy said.

She said Myanmar might not be aware of how much the Lao team had improved and Laos also didn't know, but the match would be the true testing ground.

After today's match against Myanmar , the women's team will play Thailand on December 8, Malaysia on December 11 and Vietnam on December 13. December 16 will be the final day of the tournament.

Matches will take place at the National University of Laos and the Chao Anouvong Stadium.

The men's football team begins its campaign tomorrow against Myanmar and will face Indonesia on December 7 and Singapore on December 10 at the National Stadium and Chao Anouvong Stadium.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath


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