Philippines U16 falls to Laos in ASEAN opener

The Philippine Under-16 Men’s National Football Team faced a tough start in the 2024 ASEAN U-16 Boys Championship, falling 0-3 to Laos in their opening match on Friday at Manahan Stadium.

Despite an aggressive offensive effort by forward Edvard Omitade and key early saves by goalkeeper Enrique Sunico, the Philippines was unable to overcome a determined Laos team.

Sunico, hailing from La Salle Greenhills, made three critical saves early in the game, thwarting Laos’ set pieces.

San Beda’s Omitade came close to scoring in the 30th minute, but his back-heel strike was blocked by Laos’ Ki Mounkanyah.

Laos capitalized on the momentum shift, with Daophahad Kamkasomphou breaking the deadlock in the 39th minute.

Kamkasomphou scored off a challenging pass from Kadam Koneyer, who skillfully navigated past Filipino defenders Jimm Fabela and Michael Maniti.

Omitade had another opportunity to level the score late in the first half, but his header from a right corner kick was saved by Laos’ goalkeeper Thitsakhone Sumilvongvath.

Laos extended their lead in the 50th minute with a goal from Sikanda Xaisongkham, assisted by Mounkanyah.

The Philippines continued to press forward, with Maniti, Tobias Paulino, and Omitade all taking on-target shots, but none managed to find the back of the net.

Omitade’s powerful strike in the 77th minute narrowly missed, hitting the crossbar.

In the final moments of the match, substitute striker Vongdeuan Soulinbanh sealed the victory for Laos with a goal in the 90+10th minute.

The Philippines will look to rebound as they face host Indonesia today, June 24, at 8:30 PM (Philippine time) at Manahan Stadium in Surakarta. (PFF)