VIENTIANE, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Lao Football Federation (LFF) has announced a national squad of 23 players to compete at the AFC U16 Women's Championship in Thailand from Sept. 10 to 23.
The finalized squad will continue to prepare at the Lao National Sports Training Center in the capital Vientiane under the instruction of head coach Vongmisay Soubouakham, reported the Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times on Thursday.
Unfortunately, the Lao U16 team will be missing the services of talented striker Kemmy Phatdala for the AFC Championship due to injury. Kemmy is taking a six-month break to recover from an operation on her leg, Vongmisay explained.
However, the coach remained quietly confident that the team would perform well. The Lao girls will depart for Thailand early next month before making final preparations for the crucial competition in Thailand's Chonburi province.
The AFC U16 Women's Championship is divided into two groups with Group A comprising Thailand, China, South Korea and Laos, while Group B contains the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan, Australia and Bangladesh.
The competition organizers will select the top team from each group, along with the next best placed team from either group to compete in the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay from Nov. 20 to Dec. 13 next year.
At the qualifying event for the AFC U16 Women's Championship in Thailand last year, Laos performed impressively, recording nine points from their three wins and one loss. In last year's qualifier, Laos beat Myanmar 5-2, lost 2-5 to Thailand, defeated Jordan 2-0, and demolished Guam 14-1.