Despite beating Guam in one of their first matches, the Laos U20 soccer team faced defeat at the hands of Japan, Yemen, and Palestine, finishing in fourth place at the AFC U20 Asian Cup Qualifier Group C, which was held in Vientiane from 12 to 18 September.
The Laos team performed very well in the game against Guam and dominated them to win with a 3-0 victory. The players worked well together and displayed great teamwork, in line with the coach’s guidance.
As Japan was one of the strongest teams competing, winning every game they played in Group C qualifiers, Laos lost to Japan with a score of 0-4.
Laos had a fair chance of winning its third game against Yemen, but Lao players let several opportunities pass by and lost with a score of 1-2.
In Sunday’s game against Palestine, Laos did not deserve to lose, but as one observer pointed out, “Since the first half, Lao defenders kept losing the ball before scoring goals.”
Until the 91st minute, Laos could not clear the ball out of the penalty area and was punished by Palestine Captain Mohammed Sandouqa, who scored a single goal of 1-0 and won the match for his country.
Despite the mistakes, Laos played reasonably well on the ground and had some good opportunities but couldn’t utilize them for scoring goals.
Following all the matches played, the Laos Football Federation concluded that Japan defeated all four competing countries and qualified for the AFC U20 Asian Cup, which will be hosted by Uzbekistan in March 2023. Following Japan to Uzbekistan is Yemen with two wins, one draw, and one defeat, gaining seven points. Meanwhile, Palestine has also scored seven points. Though, Yemen has scored more goals than them.
Although the host Laos and Palestine did not qualify to play at the next stage, both teams received at least some points for their matches. Only Guam left the tournament without any points.