Is it just me or was the shameful goalless draw played out between host nation Laos and Singapore that has just finished, everything that is wrong in international tournament football? The match attracted 20,000 fans and if I was one of them I would've demanded a refund and the referee should've declared the match as a 'no contest.' With both teams level on four points with Myanmar in Group B, they knew that a point apiece would see them both progress to the semi final stage and that’s exactly what they settled for. Laos provided brief glimpses of attacking intent but for the most part were happy for Singapore to pass the ball along their back-line for the whole game. It really was that dire. To be honest, the two captains could've met in the centre circle at the start, shook hands, agreed on a draw and not played the game at all. At least that would've been more upfront and honest. What I watched tonight was not two professional teams giving their all to win a match. The Games committee have to ask themselves why the two final Group B matches didn't kick off at the same time at different venues, rather than allow this complete shambles. Earlier in the day, Myanmar comfortably disposed of Indonesia 3-1 in their final Group B game. The victory put them level on points with Laos and Singapore before the two met knowing exactly what they needed to do. Tomorrow's final two Group A matches will surprisingly begin at the same time at different venues, with Cambodia facing Vietnam at the Chao Anouvong stadium, right around the corner from me. Vietnam only need a point and it would be easy for both teams to copy the Laos v Singapore style of non-competitive football, but I have complete faith that both countries will give it their all to provide a true game of football. Or am I just naive?
My brief article for the Phnom Penh Post on the Laos v Singapore game can be read here
Labels: SEA Games