Kuching: Midfielder Khouanta Sivongthong hailed the team ethic that exists within the Laos squad as the South East Asian nation booked their place in the knockout phase of the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016.
Sivongthong (pictured) claimed the second of his side’s three goals in the 3-0 win over Mongolia on Wednesday that saw Laos advance to the last four, where they will face Nepal on Saturday with a place in the final at stake.
Sitthideth Khanthavong gave Laos the lead from the penalty spot before a fine right foot strike from outside the penalty area by the Lao Toyota midfielder doubled his side’s advantage, and the 24-year-old was delighted with his contribution.
“I’m really happy that we were able to play in harmony with one another and that the result went in our favour,” said Sivongthong.
“I’m delighted to be able score such a nice goal and the thing that makes me happiest is to score such an important goal for my country and that we have gone through to the semi-finals.
“Before the game we knew we had to win, but we have a good team and we are united and we managed to play well as a team, as one. We really want to do this for the nation.”
Xaisongkham Champathong scored a late third for Laos as they bounced back from a 4-0 loss in difficult, wet conditions against Macau on Sunday and the victory was enough to take them into the next phase in second place in Group B behind the Macanese.
And, with their place in the semi-finals assured, Sivongthong and his teammates have set their sights on taking the trophy back to Vientiane.
“We came here because we want to be the champions and even though we only had a short time to prepare, we are trying to do our best and to make our country happy and proud of us,” he said.
“In the next round, of course it will be more difficult for us but we will play with passion and we will do our best for the people and for the team.”