Vientiane: Despite suffering two defeats from their opening two games in Group A of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, Laos coach V. Sundramoorthy is feeling positive ahead of his side’s clash with Myanmar at New Laos National Stadium on Friday.

The Laotians lost 3-0 at home to Vietnam in their first game but then took the lead against Malaysia through Phithath Kongmathilath four days later. With five minutes remaining the scores were 1-1, but Laos missed out on a famous point as the hosts scored two late goals to claim victory.

With two games remaining, nothing less than victory over Myanmar will do if they are to advance to the semi-finals, but an upbeat Sundramoorthy remains satisfied with what he has witnessed so far.

“I think my boys really did well up until the 86th minute against Malaysia,” he said. “In the last minutes of the match we just needed some experience. We have so many young players, but we needed some experience to take us through and ensure we at least got a point.

“We are focussed on bringing young players into the team. The boys are getting a lot of exposure in the Suzkuki Cup and I feel this will help them improve.

“I watched Myanmar’s game. In the first half they were trailing but then they brought on number 10 (Ang Thu), who I think is their best player. They then brought on I think the number 20 (Aung Than Htet), and they changed their formation and got it right tactically to win the game.

“We’re looking forward to the game against Myanmar, we are mentally and physically ready and I hope that we can get a good result in the match.”

Myanmar, meanwhile, were the last team to get their campaign underway in Group A, when they came from behind to defeat Cambodia 4-1 at Mandalay’s Mandalar Thiri Stadium on Monday.

The 2016 semi-finalists travelled to Laos a day later and will be looking for their second successive three points ahead of a tricky final two matches at home to Vietnam and away at Malaysia.

The sides have met just once before in the tournament, back in the inaugural edition in 1996 when Myanmar claimed a 4-2 victory before both exited at the group stage.

“Our first match was a difficult game, especially at home because we were under pressure from the beginning,” said Myanmar head coach Antoine Hey. “We started very badly in the first half but settled in the second so we had a good result.

“Now we have our first away match and it will also be very difficult. We hope that our team is prepared for the match tomorrow and hopefully it will be a good result for Myanmar.

“We know we can play much better than we did against Cambodia. Confidence and motivation is high, we have no injuries, so I expect them to start very strongly.”