The close to 40,000 Cambodian fans came to watch a show and what a show it was when Myanmar and the hosts battled for the only available slot to the semi-finals of the AFF BIDC Under-16 Championship.
With Australia already through to the next round from Group B, Myanmar just needed a draw to make the cut while Cambodia had to win the game outright for them to be in the final four.
But in the end, the physically stronger Myanmar side was just a tad too formidable for the strong-hearted Cambodian boys as the latter went down 3-0 – much to the disappointment of their loyalists.
“We are very disappointed that we could not give the right gift to the Cambodian fans who had stood by us from the first day of competition,” said Cambodian coach Iki Yusuke after the game.
“The players put in a lot of hard work and we really regretted the results. Myanmar was physically stronger than us, so the next step is to work more on youth development.”
Cambodia tried hard to push forward at the start but Myanmar were just too experienced as they contained the onslaught before foraging forward.
And after some sustained pressure, a poor Cambodian clearance inside the box in the 16th minute allowed Pyae Sone Naing to score.
With the midfield battle being not much of a battle as Myanmar exerted their presence, they then carved out goal No. 2 off a defence splitting pass from Sone Naing, that was picked up by Win Naing Tun to beat Kong Raphath for the second time.
The several substitutions into the second half did little to trouble the Myanmar defence although Soun Sophoutra did get a shot in the closing stages of the game.
But credit to the Cambodian fans who stood by their team all the way to the final whistle.
In the meantime Australia as expected, ran the Philippines ragged with an 8-2 beating in the game that was played earlier.
The decision by Australian coach Ufuk Talay to rest key players gave the Philippines a more fighting chance at the start when John Roberts opener after just five minutes was cancelled out by Jelani Borbon eight minutes later.
Roberts then gave the advantage to Australia once again in the 22nd minute following a mad scramble only for Fidel Victor Tacardon to give the Philippines their second equaliser two minutes later.
The change for Ryan Yates in place of Andrew Visciglio gave Australia more bite at the centre of the park and from then on, they never looked back as they went on to pile the goals with Roberts adding two more in the 28th and 43rd minute.
The remainder of the goals were scored by Dylan Ryan in the 31st minute, Rahmat Akbari (70th), Marc Moric (79th) and Lachlan Brook (87th).
Following the completion of matches in Group B tonight, the semi-finals matches will be played in two days at the National Olympic Stadium.
The semi-finals fixtures will see Laos taking on Myanmar in the first game while Australia will entertain Thailand in the second tie.
AFF BIDC U16 CHAMPIONSHIP
Australia 8 Philippines 2
Myanmar 3 Cambodia 0
FIXTURES – SEMI-FINALS
7 August 2015 – All matches at the National Olympic Stadium
1530 – Laos vs Myanmar
1830 – Australia vs Thailand
GROUP A Final Standings
GROUP B Final Standings
* Teams in bold qualify for semi-finals