Laos bolstering squad for second round of AFC U-16 championship qualifiers

The Lao Football Federation (LFF) is keen to inject new talent into the successful national squad as they prepare for the second round of 2019 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship qualifiers in Thailand next year. 

The Lao U-16 women’s team at Wattay International Airport after arriving in Vientiane on Tuesday.

The Lao U-16 women’s team was welcomed in Vientiane on Tuesday by local supporters and LFF officials after they topped their first round qualifier group in Mongolia.
The team will continue training at the LFF field with officials scanning local clubs for skilful players to add to the squad.
Head Coach Ms Phonethip Sengmany said that in their last match against India some players picked up injuries and two received yellow cards but she was proud of the team’s effort.
“Our players were very excited ahead of the last match because we knew India had to beat us to advance but everybody put in a big performance,” she said.
“The team is combining well but we still have to work on tactics and our technical skills,” she added.
Ms Phonethip said the team will work hard at training knowing they have to face many strong opponents in the second round.
Skilful player, Ms Pe Phomphakdy was a standout performer for the team and was able to secure the equaliser to draw with India 1-1 on Sunday allowing Laos to compete in the second round.
Ms Pe and her friends are excited about their success during the qualifiers in Mongolia as she didn’t believe they could progress further in the competition.
“We will now train hard and develop new tactics to make sure we have a chance in the second round next year,” she said.
Prior to the championship qualifiers in Mongolia, the Lao side trained and improved their skills at the J-Green Sakai Dream Camp in Osaka, Japan, from August 23-30. 
Some 29 teams battled it out across six groups for the eight available spots in the second round of the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.
Laos, China, Iran, Australia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Philippines will now be divided two groups for the second round next year from February 23 to March 3 in Thailand with the group winners and runners-up advancing to the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Thailand next September. There they will encounter the already qualified DPR Korea, Republic of Korea, Japan and hosts Thailand.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong
(Latest Update September 27, 2018)

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