Host Cambodia made a blistering start to their campaign in Group A of the AFF Under-23 Championship when they pummelled Brunei DS 6-0 this evening at the Morodok Techo National Stadium.
“We did not have as good a preparation as we would have liked but the players rose to the occasion and performed well on the night. We did not prepare any specific game plan for any teams where the focus was on our own game of high possession,” said Cambodian head coach Hirose Ryu.
Buoyed by close to 25,000 screaming fans, the young Koupreys were all over Brunei when they struck the opening goal in the 18th minute with Sieng Chanthea’s header off a freekick.
Just two minutes later, Nhean Sosidan fired in a stiff grounder from a poor clearance as Cambodia finished the first half on 3-0 advantage off a fine finish from Sa Ty in the 32nd minute.
Less than ten minutes into the second half and the game had to be stopped for half an hour due to the unexpected heavy downpour.
But that failed to douse the fire for the home team as they went on to add three more goals – through Taing Bunchai (72nd minute), Sor Ratana (86th) and Narong Kakada (88th) for the well-deserved victory.
“It is our first international match in two years. But I believe that we will improve after the game today. We have to defend better with the set pieces. From today’s game, the boys can see the difference in level between the two teams,” added Brunei head coach Aminuddin Jumat.
In the meantime, Timor Leste had to be disappointed with just the one point from their 2-2 draw against the Philippines in an earlier group match.
After keeping possession for long periods and gaining the upper hand twice, Timor Leste allowed their opponents to claw back into the game.
“I feel a little disappointed for sure. We should have won the game. We were in control but we conceded the two goals. It is important that we recover well and keep our heads up. We should be more focussed on the next game,” said Timor Leste head coach Fabio Maciel.
It took Timor Leste just five minutes from the first whistle to take the lead when Mouzinho Barreto De Lima fired in a penalty before the Philippines grabbed the equaliser just before the break off the hard work from Marcel Ivan Arcenal Ouano.
Timor Leste put their noses in front again in the 56th minute when Jaimito Soares pounced on a loose clearance as the Philippines once again drew level with Ouano stabbing home a mad scramble just six minutes later.
“We know the quality of Timor Leste as they have been together for three months as compared to the three weeks that we had. The boys fought with great character to come back from two goals down. Timor Leste gave us some problems tonight and Cambodia will give us different problems in our next game,” added Philippines head coach Stewart Hall.
AFF U23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2022
GROUP A – Morodok Techo National Stadium
14 February 2022
Timor Leste 2-2 Philippines
Cambodia 6-0 Brunei DS
GROUP B – PRINCE STADIUM
15 February 2022
1600hrs: Malaysia vs Myanmar