Cambodia set the early pace to lead Group A of the AFF Under-23 Championship 2023 following their superb 5-0 win over Brunei Darussalam at the Rayong Stadium.
“It was a good start and there were some things that we picked up and where we can improve for the next match,” said Cambodian two-goal hero Sor Ratana.
In the match that was played under intense heat, Cambodia wrested control of the game and never really looked back as they maintained their stranglehold throughout the 90-minute exchange.
It took them just six minutes to get on the scoresheet with Min Ratanak providing the cross from the right and Sor Ratana to finish from close.
Brunei DS just could not plug the holes on the right flank and three minutes later, a freekick from Eam Ratana resulted in an own goal from Brunei DS keeper Jefri Syafiq Ishak.
With the two-goal lead, Cambodia were not in any rush to add to the scoreline and they waited until five minutes into the second half, to find the back of their opponent’s net.
Eam was the provider yet again from a corner and Sor’s glancing header was unstoppable.
Substitute Ean Pisey did not take too long to make an impression with a low cross that gave Mean Chanrith the easiest of tap-ins.
Mean then rounded off a fine evening for Cambodia with a half-volley right at the end for the well-deserved victory.
“We made a lot of individual mistakes in this game and surely we need to regroup for our next match,” said Brunei DS captain Syafiq Saifuddin Sharif.
In the meantime, Thailand put up a commanding performance to beat Myanmar 3-0 as they kept pace with the leaders at the top of the standings.
“There’s still room for improvements as for many of the players, this is the first time that they are playing together,” said Thailand captain Songchai Thongchan.
It was Myanmar who went in harder into the game as Thailand attempted to dictate their own pace and rhythm.
But Khun Kyaw Zin Hein’s failure to make it count in the 14th minute with only Thai keeper Thirawooth Sraunson to beat, would cost them dearly.
Striker Phodchara Chainawong’s low grounder in the 21st minute of play from the edge of the Myanmar box gave Thailand the well-deserved lead.
And just eleven minutes later, the fans were on their feet again when Chukid Wanpraphao curled in a shot to beat Myanmar keeper Pyae Phyo Thu for the second time on the night.
The several substitutions into the second half for Myanmar failed to bring about the desired effect as they struggled to get past the Thai defence that was marshalled by the sturdy Songchai.
As Myanmar struggled to get a shot in, it was Thailand who went ahead yet again in the 88th minute when Yatsakorn Burapha converted a penalty following a handball offense.
“We created a lot of chances but we did not take our chances,” quipped Myanmar head coach Michael Feichtenbeiner.
AFF UNDER-23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2023
GROUP A – RESULTS and FIXTURES
17 August 2023
Cambodia 5-0 Brunei Darussalam
Thailand 3-0 Myanmar
19 August – Rayong Stadium
1600hrs: Myanmar vs Cambodia
2000hrs: Brunei DS vs Thailand