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Preview – Laos v Timor Leste


25-Oct-2010
VIENTIANE: Laos coach David Booth has warned his players not to be complacent for their final match in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 qualifying competition against Timor Leste on Tuesday.

Although Laos blew a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Philippines on Sunday, they still have their destiny in their hands and should advance to the group stage with victory against the last-placed Timorese at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane.

But although Timor Leste have conceded nine goals in losing their first two matches in the qualifiers, Booth remains wary of the tournament's minnows.

Said the Englishman: "Timor Leste played very well in the first 30 minutes of their game against Cambodia and they showed how hard it is to play against them if they have the lead.

"The longer they held the lead, the more difficult it became to break them down. We have to make sure they don't score first and to try to score ourselves.

"They will not be easy opponents so we have to prepare well and approach the game in a positive manner."

Booth wants his players to show greater composure after throwing away their advantage against the Philippines by allowing two goals in the final 14 minutes.

"We were leading 2-0 and then had a rough decision when we conceded the penalty. That upset the players more than I expected and we drew a game that we should have won," he lamented.

"Now, we have to win our final game to stay in the competition. But we are not in a bad position because we can still qualify and we will know exactly what we need to do tomorrow because we meet Timor Leste after the game between Cambodia and Philippines.

"If there is a result in that game, we will only need to beat Timor Leste to go through. A draw will mean that we have to win our match by three goals.

"Of course, playing second will put some pressure on us to get a result but I am confident of our chances. We've played very well so far and we have just been a bit unlucky."

Laos have recorded narrow victories in both previous meetings against Timor Leste in the Suzuki Cup qualifiers, winning 3-2 in 2007 and 2-1 two years ago.

The Timorese are already out of contention for the group stage after losing their first two games but assistant coach Eduardo Pereira insists that his players will still be putting in their best effort in their final match.

"We are playing for our pride," he said.

"We were happy that we showed some improvement in our performance in our last match. And although our final match against Laos will be difficult, we will still try our best."