Kuching: Striker Xaisongkham Champathong credited teamwork for his last-minute goal which helped Laos beat Brunei Darussalam 3-2 and win third place in the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 on Monday.
Shahrazen Said levelled twice for Brunei after goals from Keoviengpheth Lithideth and Sitthideth Khanthavong and as time ticked down and heavy rain started to fall, Laos took the lead for a third and final time.
Xaisongkham muscled his way past the Brunei defence to meet a free kick from the left before scoring via the inside of the far post in the 82nd minute.
“We were worried if the game would end in a 2-2 draw and go into extra time,” said the 23-year-old. “So our third goal, which came very late, was very much welcomed.
“But it wasn’t my effort alone. It was team work that made it possible. Plus, there was luck too that played a part in us getting that last and winning goal.”
The winner was scored in the striker’s second match for the national team as a starter in the tournament, having been on the starting line-up in their semi-final penalty shootout loss to Nepal where he recorded a brace.
Earlier, Xaisongkham played as a substitute in Laos’ group stage matches, including the 3-0 win over Mongolia where he scored the team’s third goal, also in the dying minutes of the game.
“I’m happy to have scored two goals in our semi-final match against Nepal. That was the first time I played as a starter for the national team.
“The last-minute goal in the Mongolia match was also a surprise. I didn’t expect to score but I think our team’s vigorous preparation and training paid off.”