| Fadhil Yunus |
BRUNEI Darussalam’s backline was found wanting again by another hat-trick hero as they stuttered to a 4-2 defeat at the expense of Laos in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 qualification round at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane yesterday.
Needing a win to stay in the hunt for progress to the AFF group stage, Laos had other plans as hat-trick hero Soukaphone Vongchiengkham put a severe blow to the Wasps’ qualification hopes with Khampeng Sayavutthi joining on the score-sheet.
Khampheng Sayavutthi capitalised on a suicidal loose ball before coasting clear and trying his luck out which was initially parried away by Azman Ilham Noor, who was making his first start in this year’s qualifiers.
However, the ball arrived only to the path of Soukaphone who tucked away the rebound into the empty net.
The Saraburi FC midfielder deceived a Bruneian defender before producing an unstoppable strike past Azman for his second of the game.
Awangku Fakharazzi’s second goal of the qualifying campaign gave Brunei a lifeline after lobbing a fine effort past goalkeeper Soukthavy Soundala as the Wasps reached the interval only a goal down.
Sayavuthhi took advantage of a defensive mix-up to make it 3-1 to the good before Soukaphone finished off a neat lay-off by substitute Tiny Bounmalay with a hat-trick.
Shahrazen Said struck a header on the end of Azwan Salleh’s cross at the end of normal time but proved to be a mere consolation for Brunei Darussalam.
Brunei Darussalam will play qualification favourites Myanmar tomorrow (Oct 16) before completing the round of matches against Cambodia on Monday (Oct 20).