Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Adi scores but Laos grab 3-2 win
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A brace by Adi Said spared Brunei blushes at the SEA Games football competition yesterday, though that didn't stop the team from falling 3-2 to Laos, who won their first game at the regional meet.

Goalless and pointless heading into their final Group A game, captain Adi took it upon himself to end those records.

While he succeeded in the first, the second will take a better team effort to pull off.

Two-time defending champion Malaysia beat Vietnam 2-1 in the day's other game to deny the latter a place in the last four and set up an enticing encounter against Indonesia in a rematch of the 2011 final Harimau Muda won on penalties.

Tomorrow's other semi-final will see Singapore face Thailand, with the final of the SEA Games' highlight event to be played on Saturday.

Brunei will perhaps be asking themselves why they are not in the last four, and the answer is simple.

A lack of preparation.

"Laos' attacks were very sharp and you could see they were prepared," said national coach Kwon Oh-son after the game.

"Our 23 players only got together for the first time on Nov 7.

"Though we scored two goals I don't think it was a nice game. We had many more chances to score," added the South Korean.

Indeed, the team's inability to convert the chances they created at the Zeyar Thiri Football Stadium is another reason their campaign has ended at the group stage.

Brunei had a raft of chances to add to their goal tally yesterday but it was a game dominated by their opponents.

Laos looked to exploit space on the left flank - where Khonesavanh Sihavong was causing all sorts of problems for Azri Zahari - and did well to put in passes over the top with the aim of catching Brunei's back line off guard.

Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham forced goalkeeper Ak Omar Aqamuddin Pg Sallehuddin off his line for a fourth minute save before Sihavong shot over the bar three minutes later.

Ak Omar produced another good save to deny Manolom Phomsouvanh's free-kick in the 14th minute and there was another lucky let off for Brunei five minutes later when Sihavong blasted the ball wide during two-on-one situation with Ak Omar, when he really should have passed to the open Phomsouvanh on the left.

Laos were finding space behind Brunei's defense too easily with through balls and Brunei's tactical discipline looked very suspect - as was their passing and movement.

But it was the underdogs who would get in front in the 32nd minute when Adi scored a header after connecting on a cross from the right.

He could have made it 2-0 a minute later when he was through on goal if not for a timely block from Laos captain Bounheng Douangdy.

It was 1-1 in the 37th minute when Vongchiengkham collected a ball over the top and rounded Ak Omar, though Muhammad Afi Aminuddin was desperately close to thwarting it with a failed goal-line clearance.

An unmarked Phattana Syvilay missed an opportunity to put Laos ahead when he was unable to test Ak Omar with a shot from outside the box, and luckily for Brunei, a long-range effort from Khouanta Sivongthong hit the left post in the final few seconds of the half.

Laos took the lead in the 52nd minute when Vongchiengkham tapped in a cross from Sivahong but Mohd Mazazizi Mazlan could have equalised three minutes later when his effort went wide of the left post.

An element of luck went into Laos' third goal when Vongchiengkham's close range effort hit the bar and bounced back into play, with the player going on to score his hat-trick from two yards out.

Laos had a free kick which whizzed over the bar soon after and Mohd Zulkhairy Hady Razali had an effort which went wide in the 67th minute after a pass from Azwan Ali Rahman.

Ak Omar dived down well to save a 72nd minute free kick, and at the other end, Azwan had a chance of his own denied by Laos goalkeeper Seng Athit Somvang two minutes later.

Azwan skied another chance in the 83rd minute and Mohd Asri Hj Aspar had an effort from the edge of the box in the next minute.

Adi rippled the side netting with a stinging shot in the 86th minute as Laos looked tired in the closing stages, with the DPMM FC striker also going close in a one-on-one in the 88th minute.

A pass from his DPMM FC teammate which opened space on the right led to Adi scoring his second, this time doing well to take the time to compose himself and aim his low shot to the far post in the 90th minute.

Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos brought down Vongchiengkham after a Laos counter-attack in the dying seconds of the game but Ketsada Souksavanh's penalty was wide of the right post.

Courtesy from Brunei Times