Cambodia can count themselves lucky after a slip-up by Philippines keeper Michael Cangco Agong handed them a narrow win and improve their chances of moving onto the semifinals of the AFF Under-19 Championship currently being played out at the National Sports Complex Stadium here.
Apart from that horrendous moment in the 40th minute, Michael played brilliantly for the other 89 minutes, stopping numerous attempts by the Cambodian strikers. Cambodia were also fortunate that the Philippines did not score the equaliser. The Filipinos had numerous close chances including a shot that came off the post but it appears luck really wasn’t on their side today.
The defeat also marked the end of the road for the Philippines here although they still have one more game against Laos. The battle for the remaining semifinal slot will be between Cambodia and Laos.
Cambodia, with one win and a draw in the bag, moved to the top of the group with seven points after today’s result. Thailand are second with six points but should reclaim their top spot in a matter of hours after their match against bottom-dwellers Brunei tonight. Cambodia’s win has also made it tougher for hosts Laos.
Philippines could have taken an early lead but striker Mathew Custodio, who broke away from the defenders, was unable to get his shot in. Cambodia was next in line but Sath Rosib’s shot was blocked by keeper Michael. Touch Roma, after being set-up by Sath, saw his shot saved by Michael, again.
Chreng Polroth, in the 34th minute, has a superb crack only to see the shot pushed away by Agong.
All the goalkeeper’s hardwork was blown away when his blunder in the 40th minute led to the opening goal. Chreng let loose a shot, not a very powerful one, and Agong went down to collect the ball. But as he tried to grab the ball, it bounced off him and turned into goal.
In last minute of the first half, the Philippines were almost on their feet but soon sat back in frustration then they realised Kenneth Atoc Dizon’s attempt missed the target and bounced off the left post.
It was a similar story in the last 45 minutes as Cambodia scrambled to increase the scoreline while the Philippines desperately went out in search of the equaliser. In the end, Cambodia managed to stave off their rivals and get away with full points.
Philippines 0 Cambodia 1
7.00pm: Brunei vs Thailand
Aug 29 (Group B)
4.00pm: Singapore vs Vietnam
7.00pm: Malaysia vs Myanmar
Aug 30 (Group A)
4.00pm: Thailand vs Cambodia
7.00pm: Laos vs Philippines
Aug 31 (Group B)
4.00pm: Timor Leste vs Singapore
7.00pm: Myanmar vs Vietnam
Note: For full fixtures and details, please go to www.aseanfootball.org