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Heavy betting on big win

Going by form and team strength, Malaysia were expected to beat Laos in their Group A match on Sept 17.

Betting odds reflected this, with the pre-match Asian Handicap set around the three-goal mark. This meant that punters backing Malaysia needed Laos to lose by at least four goals to win.

After Malaysia went a goal up in the first half, at least one Internet betting site gave unusually short odds for Malaysia to clear a two-goal handicap, with a payout ranging from 20 to 40 cents for a $1 bet.

This suggested there was heavy betting on Malaysia to clear the handicap, which required the Young Tigers to score at least three more goals without conceding for punters backing Malaysia to win.

Even though Malaysia failed to score again for more than an hour after their 12th-minute opener, the odds did not improve.

Then Laos leaked three goals in the 76th, 79th and 83rd minutes without reply.

This was not the first time that Laos had shipped late goals at this Asian Games.

In their Group A opener, they conceded three goals after the 75th minute to lose 3-0 to Saudi Arabia on Sept 14.

On Sept 21, they lost 2-0 to hosts South Korea, conceding the second goal in the 89th minute. Short odds were offered for an outcome featuring fewer than four goals.

With the three defeats, Laos failed to qualify for the round of 16.