Headlines

Indonesian soccer team
beaten by Laos

The Indonesian soccer team is facing an early exit from the Southeast Asian Games after they lost to host Laos 2-0 in their Group B match in Vientiane on Monday.

Indonesia, which played a 2-2 draw in the opening match against Singapore, collected only one point while Laos, whose first match also ended in a 1-1 draw with Myanmar, tops the standing with four points.

Singapore sits on the second spot after defeating Myanmar 2-1. Singapore and Laos can be content with a draw in their last group match to ensure places in the semifinals, eliminating Indonesia and Myanmar regardless of the results from their match.

Played at the Chao Anuvong Stadium this evening, the Laotian young side under head coach Alfred Riedl were far more determined against Indonesia, which was also eagerly seeking its first full point.

Engel Bert Sani and Boaz Salossa led Indonesia's attacks, but seemed unable to break the Laotian defense marshaled by the duo of Kitsada and Ketsada, the official website of the SEA Games reported.

The game was restricted very much in the midfield as Lamnao Singto once again formed a lethal partnership alongside Kampheng Sayyavuthi, who is just returning to fitness after a spell of injury.

After a goalless first half, the game picked up tempo in the second half with Lamnao being the constant threat to Indonesian goals.

After squandering many goal chances, he made it up in the 66th minute. Kampheng played the ball to Lamnao, who ran into the Indonesian box for a grounder, leaving goalkeeper Frenky Irawan gasping as the ball trickled between his legs.

Indonesia attempted to get back in the game by putting more pressure at the center, to no avail as ten minutes later, Laos went further in front.

Lamnao was again in the thick of the action when he capitalized on a defensive mistake by Indonesia to slot the ball home.

It was Indonesia's first loss to Laos in soccer competitions. "We have to pay dearly for our failures to convert our goal chances. Our players looked nervous when holding the Laotian attack," team manager Andi Darussalam Tabussalla told Antara.

He conceded the result put Indonesia in danger of crashing out of the competition, but encouraged the players to improve their game against Myanmar on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Vietnam tops Group A after winning twice and drawing once with seven points, followed by Thailand (4), Malaysia (3), Cambodia (3) and Timor Leste (0).

The soccer competition began its matches days before the opening ceremony of the Asian Games on Wednesday.

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