A SECOND half hat-trick by Phatthana Syvilay lifted Laos to a 4-3 win over Brunei in their AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2016 qualifier at the RSN Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last night.
Despite Laos’ win, it will be Cambodia who will join Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar in Group B of the tournament proper after beating Timor Leste 3-2 in last night’s other game to top the four-team qualifiers with a maximum of nine points from three wins.
The loss means that Brunei have now failed to beat Laos in each of their last five meetings at the qualifiers dating back to 2006.
Brunei finished third in this year’s qualifiers with three points from as many games after opening their campaign last Saturday with a 2-1 win against Timor Leste — who failed to win any of their games and end at the bottom of the table. Brunei made three changes to their backline with Azwan Salleh, Khairil Shahme Suhaimi and Hairol Azaman Shah Abdullah starting.
Azizi Ali Rahman was also given his first start of the campaign and had two chances inside the first five minutes of the game.
However, he couldn’t get enough power on his shot to trouble Laos goalkeeper Vathana Keodouangdeth after being put through by Faiq Jefri Bolkiah -— and just missed on the connection from Azwan Salleh’s cross from the right in front of goal moments later.
After an equally contested opening half hour, Brunei found the back of the net after Faiq played Azizi through before cutting back for Adi Said to fire home — only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
The Wasps grabbed the lead in the 36th minute after Azwan’s corner kick was chested down by Azizi Ali Rahman and fired home by Adi from point blank range.
Laos levelled in late in the first half with skipper Paseuthsack Souliyavong sending Soukaphone Vongchiemkham through on goal to slot past Brunei goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.
Laos should have got in front two minutes after the interval following good ball movement to see Paseuthsack through, but his chip over Wardun just dipped over the crossbar.
Soukaphone was brought down in the 50th minute after a tackle by a Brunei defender resulted in a penalty for Laos.
Phatthana made no mistake from the spot with a panenka to give his country the lead.
It was 3-1 seven minutes later after Wardun parried Maitee Maitee’s cross to the path of Phatthana to nod home from inside the six-yard box.
Brunei were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute after a handball inside the box.
Faiq stepped up to fire the spot kick into the bottom right corner for his first international goal, with Vathana going the wrong way to give Brunei a lifeline.
He then played a good ball forward for substitute Razimie Ramli to give chase seven minutes later, but Vathana came out of the box for a good tackle.
Instead, Phatthana completed his hat-trick in 25 minutes after getting at the end of Maitee Maitee’s cross from the left at the far post.
The Wasps battled to get back in the game but it came too late as Razimie netted right at the death as a consolation.
The sultanate will now turn their attention to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Solidarity Cup 2016 from Nov 2-15 in Kuching.