Cambodia’s U23’s go into their second 28th SEA Games fixture against Indonesia on Saturday after securing a vital win over the Philippines in their opening game on Wednesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
The 3-1 result was a repeat of the AFC U-23 Championship 2016 Group G qualifying match between the sides in Bangkok in late March.
Cambodia struck first after captain Prak Mony Udom received the ball in the box. The young Svay Rieng FC forward then made little mistake in rifling the ball past the Philippine’s keeper.
Coach Lee Tae Hoon’s men then doubled their lead ten minutes later, in the 42nd minute, after Keo Sopheng bundled the ball into the back of the net after horrendous defending from the Filipinos. A goalmouth scramble had left Sopheng unmarked and the number 10 had an easy tap-in from close-range to put the young Angkor Warriors two goals up.
The young Filipino’s then, somewhat against the run of play, struck back and pulled a goal back through Paolo Salenga. However, Cambodian coach Lee Tae Hoon and his charges had not quite finished their assault on captain and goalkeeper Florencio Jr. Badelic’s goal.
Chan Vathanaka, the young Boeung Ket Angkor FC marksman who had so terrorised the Filipino’s two-goals in their last encounter, secured the points with a fine third goal for his side with just 10 minutes of the game left to play.
The result condemned the Philippines to a second successive defeat after the young Azkals had lost 1-0 earlier in the week to hosts Singapore.
Cambodia’s next opponents, Indonesia, will be eager to improve after suffering a 4-2 defeat to Myanmar in their opening group game.
The loss follows a difficult period for the Indonesians. Recently FIFA announced the suspension of its affiliated body in Indonesia – the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI). FIFA – football’s global governing body censured the Indonesians after its call for the government to stop interference in football affairs was left unheeded. Indonesia is now barred from all international competition. The SEA Games is an exception.
Cambodia have been drawn in Group A along with Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Myanmar. Group B is made up of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos and Timor Leste.
(Contributed by Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times)