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Oct 21, 2010

Laos vs Cambodia Preview (SUZUKI CUP 2010)

Preview - Laos v Cambodia 

Having topped the qualifying round in the last two editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup, Laos are confident that they can do so yet again when they host this year's qualifiers, which kicks-off at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane on Friday.

The Laotians have never failed to qualify for the group stage of the AFF Suzuki Cup and they will be buoyed by their performances in the last two qualifying competitions as well as the 2009 SEA Games on home soil, when they reached the semi-finals for the first time.

Speaking on Thursday, a day before the hosts open their qualification campaign against Indochinese rivals Cambodia, Laos team manager Pasadsay Pilapunded outlined his confidence in the squad coached by Englishman David Booth.

"Laos has been improved a lot since we made it to the semi-finals of the SEA Games," said Pilapunded.

"We have played a number of friendly matches in our preparation for this tournament and my team are 100% fit.

"I believe that Laos will win this qualifying round because we have plenty of experience. They players will also be trying their best because we are the home side and we will have many supporters coming to cheer us."

But the Laos manager did sound a note of caution for the match against Cambodia, who beat his side 3-2 in the qualifying round in 2008 and also qualified for the group stage after finishing runners-up behind Laos.

"It will be a tough game for us because this new Cambodian team have been improving very quickly," Pilapunded added. "They now have a professional League and an experienced coach."

South Korean Lee Tae-hoon, who took charge of Cambodia earlier this year, is relishing the challenge of his first international assignment with the Indochinese side.

"My team have prepared well for this tournament and we are upgrading ourselves every time we play," said the 39-year-old former K-League player.

"Every game is important for us, and we will be playing like we are in the final.

"Laos are fortunate to be the hosts and they will have many supporters to cheer them on. But my player are ready for tomorrow's game and we will be working very hard to get a result."

The two teams have met five times previously in the Asean Football Championship with each side winning two games and drawing the other.

Laos beat Cambodia 1-0 in Singapore in 1996 and 2-1 in Hanoi in 2004, while the Cambodians prevailed 3-0 in Songkhla in 2000 and 3-2 in Phnom Penh in 2008. They drew 2-2 in their 2007 qualifier in Bacolod. more visit:


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