Monday, December 6, 2010

Laos, Malaysia maintaining semi-final hopes

PALEMBANG: Despite his team's heavy defeat against Indonesia last Saturday, Laos coach David Booth has not given up hope of seeing his side advance to the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

The Laotians are bottom of Group A on goal difference after their 6-0 mauling by the hosts during the weekend. But they still have realistic hope of reaching the last four if they beat Malaysia at the Jaka Baring Stadium and Thailand fail to win against Indonesia in Jakarta on Tuesday evening.

While Laos have long been one of the whipping boys of Southeast Asian football, Booth believes that his young side can bounce back and show the same sort of character that earned them a 2-2 draw against Thailand in their opening game.

"The morale of the team is okay," said the veteran English coach." They've been beaten heavily in the past so it's like water of a duck's back for them. We'll just see what we can do for the next game and let's hope that it's not contagious.

"We had a good game against Thailand but a poor game against Indonesia. So it will be interesting to see if we can get back to the first game scenario where we worked hard and we tried to get forward.

"I just hope we can put in a decent performance against Malaysia – that's all I can hope for now. If we can get a result of any kind that would be good, but I just want the players to get some self-respect back now.

"But we've also got a chance if Indonesia do their work against Thailand. If that happens, than either Malaysia or ourselves will have a chance to go through. We've both got a second bite of the cherry so it should be a good game."

Having already been deprived of eight players for the tournament because of various injuries, Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal has been left frustrated by more fitness concerns with defender Asraruddin Putra, midfielder Amirulhadi Zainal and forward Safee Sali all nursing injuries on the eve of the match.

"We have injuries to three players right now – Safee, Asraruddin and Amirulhadi. With so many of our other players missing the tournament, it has been a difficult time for us so far.

"But our young boys here have done quite well. Nobody gave us a chance against Thailand but the players fought hard and they defended well and we got something from the game.

"Both Laos and ourselves still have a chance to go to the semi-finals and we are just hoping that Indonesia play well in their game tomorrow and get a result against Thailand.

"But our main focus is to win our match tomorrow. We expect Laos to come at us because they also have a chance to go through. They also need a win so they will play a strong game and try to get a good result."

The Malaysians have not lost to Laos in their four previous meetings in the AFF Suzuki Cup although they drew group stage matches in 1998 and 2002. The Tigers won 3-0 when they teams last met in Phuket two years ago.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...