Mike Wong: Laos U-16 youngsters had more desire to win than Singapore

Oita goalkeeper puts the ball into his own net in the J-League

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Laos Football Federation’s Technical Director Mike Wong reckons their U-16 players had more desire than Singapore to win at the AFF U-16 Championship.

Singapore who are in Group B alongside Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Laos fell to a 2-1 defeat in their opening game against the regional minnows on Wednesday night.

A brace from Chony Wenpaserth was enough to seal maximum points for the Laotians despite Zikos Chua reducing the deficit with 12 minutes left to play.

This is the second time a Laotian youth team have done well against their Singapore counterparts after the U-19 side produced a 5-0 mauling of the young cubs from the Lion City last month at the AFF U-19 Championship.

“No we are not surprised by the result,” Laos’ Singaporean Technical Director Mike Wong told FOX Sports Asia. “I spoke to my coach before the tournament that Thailand and Malaysia will be our most difficult opponents, not Singapore or Brunei.”

Despite Laos’ perfect start to the tournament with six points – they opened their campaign with a 3-2 victory over Brunei – that puts them in second spot behind Thailand in the standings, Wong reckons the team can still improve.

He added: “What the Laos players lacked is game experience because there are no youth leagues or school tournaments here (in the country).

“You can see that they were not as composed as the Bruneians or Singaporeans but we make up for that by doing more game-related training sessions.

“Individually, Laos were much faster than Singapore and we had more desire to win it. But we can still improve because at this age, they are trying to get better and better with each game.”

Laos will now have three days to recover before they take on Thailand in a top-of-the-table clash in Group B. The top two teams will advance to the semifinal that has been scheduled for August 9.