SURABAYA (9 Sept 2013) – Soukchinda Natphasouk scored twice to provide Laos with a smashing 3-1 win over 10-man Philippines in the opening game of the AFF Under-19 tournament at the Gelora Delta Sidoarjo here this evening.
Soukchinda scored once in each half with Souksavanh Somsanith adding the other. The Philippines drew level in the first half when Arnel Amita converted a penalty in the 56th minute.
Laos really had their inspirational skipper Lembo Saysana to thank for their victory today. The skillful striker, who missed numerous chances himself, had a hand in setting up all three goals.
It was Laos all the way in the first half, their players took the fight forward and had several clear chances. Strikers Lembo and Sisawad Dalavong were on the hunt but failed to make their shots count.
Lembo should have scored off his attempt in the 22nd minute but after breaking through, he blasted into the side-netting.
Then, in the 26th minute, Soukchinda Natphasouk split the defence after being put through by Lembo. As the goalkeeper rushed out, Soukchinda coolly chipped over Nathaniel Villanueva for goal number one.
Lembo continued to press on but in his haste to score, was adjudged to have taken a dive and was booked in the 36th minute.
Laos suffered a setback when their opponents scored but they came charging back to retake the lead in the 69th minute through Souksavanh whose glancing header off a cross from Lembo sailed in.
For all his efforts, Lembo simply could not score. His best chance came in the 84th minute but his low strike hit came off the post. To his delight, Khampaseut picked up the rebound and slipped it to Soukchinda who knocked it home.
With time almost up, Philippines lost their key defender Amani Aguinaldo who was booked a second time.
Laos will face Cambodia in their next match while the Philippines face Singapore on Wednesday.