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Match report: Laos 0 Cambodia 0

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VIENTIANE: Laos and Cambodia were left to rue missed opportunities as their opening match in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 qualifying round on Friday ended goalless.

Both team had their chances at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane with Kaysone Soukhavong hitting the crossbar for the hosts and Kouch Sokumpheak doing likewise for Cambodia.

But neither side could break the deadlock leaving them with plenty of work still to do if they hope to secure berths in the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup in December.

The two Indochinese side trail two points behind Philippines, who demolished Timor Leste 5-0 in an earlier match on Friday, with the top two teams progressing to the group stage.

The home side made much of the running in the early minutes of the game and went close to taking the lead in the 11th minute when a shot from the edge of the box by Keoviengphet Liththideth was tipped over by Cambodia goalkeeper Ouk Mic.

Apart from that effort, there was little that troubled Mic in the first half although he was very nearly caught out on the half-hour mark when a free-kick taken by Kaysone from the right flank rattled his crossbar.

Cambodia grew in confidence as the half progressed and Sokumpheak nearly silenced the home fans in the 36th minute with a header off a Sun Sophana corner that came back off the crossbar. The ball fell to Tieng Tiny but the Cambodian defender hammered his effort well over.

Laos goalkeeper Sengphachan Bounthisanh then made a superb stop to deny Khuon Laboravy five minutes later after a knockdown had found the Cambodian forward completely unmarked in the six-yard box

Just seconds after the restart, Cambodia did have the ball in the net but Laboravy's effort was adjudged by the assistant referee to be offside.

Laos turned up the heat in the second half and a 63rd minute effort by Lamnao Singto from the left edge of the box curled just wide of the far post.

Kaysone Soukhavong crafted an opening for himself 10 minutes later with a clever dragback on the left side of the Cambodian box but Mic alertly pushed aside his shot for a corner.

The Laotians continued to have the better of the opportunities in the closing minutes but apart from a Lamnao shot that went into the side netting, there was precious little to excite the home fans as the game petered out to a stalemate.