Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar — Malaysia defeated Laos 4-1 in men’s football at the SEA Games 2013 on Friday afternoon in Zayyarthiri Stadium in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Daw.
The Laos team had tied the match 1-1 against the Malaysian title holders just before the break when Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham’s header scored, and it appeared with the momentum swing that Laos might be headed toward another shocking result after surprising a heavily favoured Singapore team in their first match with a 1-1 draw.
But it was not to be, as Malaysia regrouped and came out in the second half with a dominating performance, pulling away with a 4-1 victory.
Malaysia’s Ahmad Hazwan Bakri had earlier given his team the 1-0 advantage in the seventh minute with a score.
After that, Malaysia began playing a more relaxed game, and Laos’ determination paid off in the 41st minute when Souk scored on a freekick from Khonesavanh Sihavong, reported aseanfootball.org.
With today’s win, Malaysia finds itself at the top of the Group A standings with two victories.
Malaysia’s next match is against second place Singapore on Sunday at 16:00 in Zayyarthiri Stadium.
With the loss, Laos is in fourth place in the five-team Group A standings, with its next match against Vietnam on Sunday at 18:45.
Tonight’s second match is between Singapore and Brunei.
Football can be cruel at times, none more so than in the case of 27th SEA Games hosts Myanmar, whose U23 team were knocked out of the men’s competition after a 1-0 loss to Indonesia on Monday night despite holding a better goal difference with both ending the group phase on seven points.
A 36th minute penalty by Alfin Tuasalamony at Yangon’s Thuwunna YTC Stadium was all that stood between the sides, as Indonesia progressed to tomorrow’s semi-finals along with Group B toppers Thailand due to their superior head-to-head record over Myanmar.
The result sparked a riot in the former capital, with dozens of local football fans clashing with police late into the night.
Vietnamese players celebrate a goal during their clash with Laos in the men's football event of the 27th Southeast Asian Games on December 15, 2013.
Vietnam smashed Laos 5-0 in a Sunday group stage game in the 27th Southeast Asian Games men’s football event to cling to their hope of reaching the semi-final round.
The Vietnamese had no choice but to beat neighbors Laos in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw to continue nurturing their semis dream after losing to Singapore on Tuesday.
Vietnam had racked up three points prior to the Group A encounter with Laos while rivals Malaysia drew 1-1 with Singapore today, which has earned the latter a spot in the semis slated for next Thursday.
Vietnam displayed exciting play in the first half and netted two goals before slowing the rhythm a bit in the second when they subdued the Lao goalie three more times.
Young star Van Quyet scored a brace, with the other three goals coming from two Vietnamese strikers and a Lao defender.
Striker Ha Minh Tuan broke the deadlock in the 27th minute by firing a direct free kick past goalkeeper Seng Athit Somvang.
Midfielder Van Quyet doubled the score four minutes later with a solo performance completed by a wonderful shot in the box.
Quyet headed home his second goal in the 76th minute before Vietnam were handed a fourth goal three minutes later by a Lao defender who was trying to clear the ball from Vietnamese midfielder Vu Minh Tuan.
Striker Mac Hong Quan hammered the last nail in Laos’ coffin 89 minutes into the game, shooting the ball toward the far post.
But the Vietnamese suffered a loss when defender Sam Ngoc Duc was red-carded in the last minutes, probably a setback for them before their must-win final group stage game against Malaysia on Tuesday next week.
Vietnam now rank third with six points in a group led by Singapore (eight points), followed by Malaysia (seven points).
They will book the other ticket to the semis if the Vietnamese men beat Malaysia at Zeyar Thiri Stadium.
NAYPYITAW: Singapore will host the next SEA Games in 2015 after a lapse of 22 years. And they have listed out 30 sports which will be held in the republic in two years’ time.
The bad news is, karate, which has done exceptionally well in the biennial Games, is not on the list.
Karate has been in the SEA Games programme for the last 20 years and surprisingly Singapore have decided to leave it out.
Malaysia’s best ever achievement in karate was in Kuala Lumpur in 2001, with a total of nine golds.
And their best result, outside KL was in Brunei in 1999 with seven golds.
In the Myanmar SEA Games, the Malaysian Karate-do Federation (Makaf) had set a target of three gold medals but they surprised everyone to win seven of the 17 gold medals at stake in Naypyitaw.
In fact, to date, karate have contributed the most number of gold medals in the Myanmar Games out of the 30 sports Malaysia have entered.
The country won five golds in kumite and two in kata in Naypyitaw. And, many of the national exponents who bagged gold are young and can feature in the next two to three SEA Games.
Makaf were looking forward to doing much better in terms of gold medal haul in Singapore.
National kumite coach R. Puvaneswaran said that they are shocked that Singapore have left out karate.
“We have no idea why Singapore don’t want to have karate in the Games,” said the former international.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) will push Singapore to include karate during their SEA Games Federation meeting next year.
The list of sports included in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games are aquatics, athletics, sailing, table tennis, canoeing, bowling, wushu, fencing, netball, gymnastics, billiards and snooker, hockey, softball, waterskiing, golf, football, shooting, badminton, cycling, tennis, pencak silat, sepaktakraw, rugby, basketball, traditional boat race, archery, triathlon, judo, taekwondo and squash.
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