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Preview - Philippines vs Laos


24-Oct-2010
VIENTIANE: Philippines coach Simon McMenemy feels that his players will not be lacking in motivation when they face hosts Laos in their second match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 qualifying round on Sunday.

The Pinoys have lost to the Indochinese side in the last two qualifying competitions with their 1-2 defeat in Phnom Penh in 2008 ultimately costing them a spot in the group stage.

But McMenemy believes that the memories of those defeats will only spur on his side for the clash at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane.

"Laos have been tough opponents for us in the past and we have played some tight games against them," said the 32-year-old Englishman.

"But our team is better prepared than they have ever been, they are playing some good football and they are confident that can get a win tomorrow.

"They lost their last two games against Laos but they want to extinguish the memories of those defeats. If anything, those defeats will only give them extra motivation to beat them tomorrow."

Philippines may lead the qualifying competition after romping to a 5-0 win over Timor Leste in their opener, but the hosts will pose a much stiffer challenge for them.

"Laos look like a tough team to break down. They are strong at the back and they move the ball quickly out of defence to create chances for themselves," said McMenemy, whose side are at full strength.

"We will try to create some space for ourselves and get the ball into the danger areas quickly,"

After his side's goalless draw against Cambodia in their opener, Laos coach David Booth knows that they cannot afford any more slip-ups if they hope to qualify for the group stage.

"Our match against the Philippines will not be easy because they have some big players on their team," said the veteran English coach.

"I am sure that if we work hard, we can beat them. And right now, I just want to focus on that match."

Kaysone Soukhavong, who went closest to breaking the deadlock for Laos with a free-kick that rocked the Cambodian crossbar, is expecting a tight contest.

"It should be an exciting game against the Philippines. Although we beat them 2-1 in 2008, it was not an easy match and I learned a lot from that experience," said the 23-year-old midfielder.

"But I am ready for the game and I am sure that we can get a result that will help us to get past the qualifying round because we are the hosts and we will have plenty of support behind us tomorrow."