Timor Leste 3 Laos 1
Photo credit: Asean Football Federation
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Yangon: Timor Leste moved a step closer to securing a spot in the Final Round of the AFF Suzuki Cup as they picked up their second win of the Qualifying Round with a 3-1 victory over Laos at the Youth Training Centre on Tuesday.
Laos had the better of the first half and they hit the woodwork twice only to fall behind in the 43rd minute when Murilo de Almeida stroked home a penalty.
Adelino Trinidade extended the Timorese advantage with a header early in the second half before Alan Leandro fired home a superb third with seven minutes left after substitute Visay Phaphouvannin had cut the deficit for the Laotians.
The result put the Timorese level on six points with Myanmar at the top of the qualifying standings although they have played a game more than the home side. Meanwhile, Laos remained on three points after two games.
Laos coach Kokichi Kimura rang the changes in his team as he made six changes from the team that beat Cambodia 1-0 in their opening match on Sunday but his team appeared sharp in the opening stages and nearly took the lead after 90 second when Ketsada Souksavanh’s free-kick from 30 metres struck the top of the crossbar with goalkeeper Emerson Cesario nowhere near the ball.
Timor Leste’s first real opportunity arrived in the 10th minute as Jesse Pinto slipped a through ball towards Alan Leandro but goalkeeper Sengphachan Bounthisanh had spotted the danger and came off his line to save bravely at the tall striker’s feet.
Laos had the majority of chances in the opening half and they were unlucky not to take the lead as Vilayout Sayyabounsou’s shot from outside the box skimmed narrowly wide of the left upright and Khampheng Sayavutthi hit the post with a low drive from 25 metres.
Keoviengpheth Lithideth then set up Daoneua Siviengsay with a through ball into the left channel but Emerson came out quickly to cut down the angle and blocked the shot.
The game looked destined to remain scoreless at half-time but two minutes before the break Adelino was brought down by a rash challenge by Vilayout on the left side of the Laos box and Murilo sent Sengphachan the wrong way from the penalty spot to put the Timorese ahead.
Timor Leste started the second half strongly and they extended their lead six minutes after the interval when the Laotian defence failed to deal with a bouncing ball in their box and Adelino capitalised to head home.
Timorese skipper Jesse Pinto nearly netted a third for his team shortly afterwards but his acrobatic scissors kick went just over the crossbar.
Substitute Soukaphone Vongchiengkham had an opportunity to cut the deficit in the 63rd minute with a free-kick from the right edge of the box but his attempt was straight at Emerson, who handled the shot easily.
Murilo should have made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute when he was found completely unmarked in the box by Adelino’s cross from the left but put his free header wide.
It looked like it would prove costly as Laos pulled a goal back five minute later after a fine counter-attack down right-flank which saw substitutes Visay and Phatthana Syvilay exchange a series of passes before Visay lashed the ball past Emerson from 15 metres out.
But Alan would restore the two-goal cushion in the 83rd minute as he cut into Laos box on the left and fired a rising shot into the top corner of the net.