The task for Laos after a tough opening day home defeat at the hands of Vietnam does not get any easier as they will next face a confident Malaysian side at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Monday's second round of matches in Group A.
In the history of the AFF Championshp, Laos has never advanced past the group stage of the competition and they are unlikely to do so again this edition. They have only ever secured two wins in the competition, both times against Cambodia back in 1996 and 2004.
For Singaporean V. Sundramoorthy who only recently took over as head coach of the Laos national team, the task is to pick his players up after the 0-3 defeat to Vietnam and ensure that they can give a good account of themselves in the rest of the tournament.
"I've only been on board for one month. We played Vietnam in the first game and I think they are the favourites for the tournament. My boys put up a really good show but now it's a different game against Malaysia. We watched their first game against Cambodia and I think coach Tan has done a good job."
"Tomorrow's game will be about which team turn up on the pitch. If Laos turn up, we have every chance to upset the odds. No doubt we are underdogs but we'll do what we can to get the points," said Sundramoorthy in the pre-match press conference.
Having guided the Lions XII in the Malaysian Super League before, Sundramoorthy probably does not need extra scouting done on the Malaysian team as he will be well familiar with the players and their capabilities.
The 53-year-old remains quietly confident that his charges are capable of holding their own in the group and apart from the first match against Vietnam, fancies his team to create a shock or two in the competition.
"If you look at our group, basically Vietnam is the favourite and they have a really good team. For the others teams, it's more equal and what happens on the day. I feel that we can match the other teams and if we can perform, I'm sure we can match them," added Sundramoorthy.
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