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Match report - Laos 6 Timor Leste 1

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VIENTIANE: Laos advanced to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 group stage after winning the qualifying competition for a third consecutive time with a 6-1 thrashing of Timor Leste at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane on Tuesday.

Chiquito fired Timor Leste into a surprise lead with a stunning ninth minute opener but Kovanh Namthavixay levelled two minutes later and Soukhaphone Vongchiengkham headed the hosts into the lead in the 17th minute.

The hosts then pulled away in the second half as Lamnao Singto converted a penalty and Konekham Inthammavong netted a fine solo effort before Kanlaya Sysomvang and Ketsada Souksavanh completed the rout

Laos, Philippines and Cambodia finished the qualifiers with five points each but the Laotians finished first by virtue of scoring one goal more than the Pinoys. Cambodia finished third on goal difference and will miss out on the group stage.

Laos will face hosts Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia in Group A in Jakarta while Philippines will meet defending champions Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar in Group B in Hanoi.

With Philippines and Cambodia playing out a goalless draw in Tuesday's earlier game, Laos entered their match knowing that they needed to win by at least three goals to advance.

But their task quickly became more difficult as Chiquito, who had scored an early goal in Timor Leste's 2-4 loss to Cambodia, repeated the trick by launching a right-footed drive from 25 metres into the top right corner of the Laos net in the ninth minute.

The home side got back on level terms just two minutes later. A corner from the left was flicked on at the near post by Lamnao. Castelo stopped the effort at the far post but he failed to get it clear and Kovanh pounced to force the ball into the net.

Laos then went ahead in the 17th minute through Soukhaphone, who outleapt his marker to head past goalkeeper Diamentino Leong.

Kovanh nearly extended the advantage in the 28th minute with a shot from the right of the Timor Leste box that rocked the crossbar.

Despite Laos' dominance, they nearly found themselves on level terms again six minutes before half-time when Eusebio's through ball released Chiquito, who fired straight at goalkeeper Sengathit Somvang.

But just seconds after the restart, Soukaphone was upended in the box and Lamnao stepped up to fire the resulting penalty into the net to make it 3-1.

That would have been enough to secure Laos' place in the group stage but they continued to attack and stretched their lead in the 59th minute with a fine individual goal by Konekham, who brought the ball in from the right flank, fending off a couple of challenges before sliding the ball past Leong.

Kanlaya bagged Laos' fifth three minute later with an unstoppable effort from just inside the Timorese box.

And Ketsada Souksavanh rifled in his side's sixth 12 minutes from time to complete an emphatic win for the hosts.