Laos – Match Report Vs. Singapore (27/12/2022)

Laos was beaten 2-0 in AFF championship action by Singapore. Singapore was generally quite poor in the match but was able to emerge victorious because their opponent was Laos. Despite their generally low level, the Lao team did start a ton of U-23 players so I have written some thoughts on players who caught my eye during the early portions of the game. Of note, the Lao team was almost all extremely small. Apparently, the average male height in Laos is 5’3 so these players were mostly taller than the median but Singapore still had a huge and obvious physical advantage. Laos played in a 4-3-3 that turned into a 4-4-2 when defending. They generally did a good job of gumming up the works and preventing Singapore from creating a great number of chances but also failed to create much of their own.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Photthavong Sangvilay

  • Nationality: Lao
  • Age: 18
  • Date of Birth: 16/10/2004
  • Current Club: Ezra F.C
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Photthavong Sangvilay played as a left-back in this match. He showed some decent technical ability and I think he is probably the most interesting of Laos’ players. Sangvilay looked very composed on the ball, with a good first touch and a strong passing range. He was mostly pinned back by Singapore’s press during this match but he was quite good at playing passes through the press. He also floated some nice long-range passes behind Singapore’s backline that might have led to some chances if he played for any team other than Laos.

He had limited opportunities to get forward and was not able to create any chances directly in this match. However, his deliveries looked pretty good and according to Wyscout has some really solid xA numbers from his previous participation in international competitions. These two facts lead me to believe he could be a really solid attacking fullback on a more level playing field (not to mention being on a team with some taller teammates). However, he also had some limitations. He did not dribble very much in this game but when he did attempt them he did not look very likely to beat an opponent. Like most of the Lao players, he is also quite small and he did get pushed around at times. But his body shape and positioning when defending were very strong. He made a couple of key defensive recoveries and some good aggressive defensive play. 

Rating – A1

I am not sure I would catapult him to the top of Asian football based on this performance but I would definitely like to see him at a higher level and in an environment where his team has a realistic chance of winning from time to time. 

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Chony Wenpaserth

  • Nationality: Lao
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 27/11/2002
  • Current club: Ezra F.C
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Chony Wenpaserth played as a left winger in this match. He got in some good positions and generally did alright but I felt he missed a lot of opportunities to create a shot that a better player would have taken advantage of. He did a good job of receiving the ball in the left half space of the final 3rd but he struggled to create separation from defenders. He regularly failed to beat defenders either through poor dribbling or a lack of pace.

Early in the first half, he seemed to trip over his own feet when he was on the left-hand side of the penalty area. In two other instances, he took, in my opinion, a less optimal shot because he wasn’t able to dribble himself into a better position. A general lack of athleticism was a problem for him both offensively and defensively. He did demonstrate a strong first touch but he was too easily knocked off the ball or simply gave it away to really make the most of it. He did a lot of defensive work in this match. Laos played a very deep block and he was often all the way back in the left-back area of the pitch. I wouldn’t say he defended with any particular distinction but he fulfilled his role dutifully. 

Rating – B2

He is not totally unskilled but I don’t see a future for him at a significantly higher level. 

Ekkamai Ratxachak

  • Nationality: Lao
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 16/06/1999
  • Current Club: Champasak United
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ekkamai Ratxachak played as a striker in this match. He caught my eye because he was the only Lao player with any kind of size and he was showing some good hold-up play. But unfortunately, that was about as far as my interest in him went. For starters, Ratxachak had some of the worst-timed runs I have ever seen. There were two times when he completely butchered a potential break by running into an offside position. It’s not like he was just barely caught offside either. He just kept running beyond the last defender, like something out of a U-13 game.

With the ball, he also looked bit awkward and wobbly. He did not seem to back himself to dribble past opponents and usually chose to lay the ball off rather than dribble if he had the option. As I mentioned earlier Ratxachak did a good job of using his relative size to his advantage to hold up the ball. His teammates played a lot of long balls to him and he did a good job of shielding the ball and fighting for loose balls. He also did a lot of effective defensive work. He was usually closing down players on his own because of Laos’ low block and he actually did a pretty decent job of disrupting Singapore’s buildup. But ultimately his poor off-the-ball-movement and lack of technical skill mean he probably won’t make it to a higher level. 

Rating: C

I am curious to see what he looks like in the Laos league because he was so much bigger than all of his national teammates. But beyond that I can’t think of any league at a higher level I would recommend him to. 

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