Cambodia advanced to the prestigious AFF Suzuki Cup Final Round for the first time since 2008 when they reeled in maximum points to emerge winners of the qualifying competition which concluded here today.  

For their success, Cambodia will join Group B where they will have hosts Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam for company.

“Timor played really well and they worked hard,” said Cambodian head coach Lee Tae Hoon. “But this is something which I expected as the problem with our players is that they tend to lose concentration and that can be very dangerous as was demonstrated tonight.

“Anyway, we still won the game and now we are through to the final rounds.”

The Cambodians, who had earlier beaten Laos and Brunei, extended their winning run with a 3-2 win over Timor Leste at the National Olympic Stadium tonight. In a simultaneously held match at the RSN Stadium, Laos defeated Brunei 4-3 in a thrilling tie to finish second in the standings.

Laos were counting on Timor Leste to pull off an upset so they could squeeze into the AFF Suzuki Cup Final Round. Cambodia however had their own plans and ensured they defeated Timor Leste to claim the solitary ticket for the finals.

In tonight’s match at the National Olympic Stadium, packed to its capacity of 50,000, Cambodia shot off to a two-goal lead within the first 18 minutes. Tit Dina had the fans roaring with delight after only two minutes with a superb strike. The fans were dancing 16 minutes later when Chan Vathanaka blasted a second from close range, after being set-up by Prak Mony Udom.

The writing seemed on the wall that it was going to be plain sailing for Cambodia into the final round next month. But that was not to be as Anggisu Barbosa converted from the spot in the 20th minute. With a few minutes on the clock, Nelson Viegas raced into the box past his Cambodian markers to crash in the equaliser.

Cambodia plundered forth in search of more goals after the break. They were determined to walk away as the winners and threw everything they had into the game.

Finally, their efforts paid off in the 78th minute when Chan Vathanaka drilled in the winner. The stadium erupted once again, probably with relief as the fans realised it was over and their team was really through.

“The players played as well as they could under the circumstances and never give up,” said Timor Leste head coach Fabio Maciel.

“That is the most I can expect from them. They made it really close tonight.”



Over at the RSN Stadium, Brunei and Laos, who were mathematically still in with a chance, were tied at 1-1 at the break. Both teams gave it their all and five more goals were netted in the second half which ended with Laos winning 4-3.

Brunei could have had a comfortable lead but they missed numerous chances. Finally, they broke the duck in the 36th minute when Azwan Mohoammed Salleh’s corner kick was headed down by Abdul Aziz Al Rahman for Adi Said to smash it home.

Earlier, Brunei’s striker Abdul Aziz missed two great chances in the first ten minutes while Faiq Jefri Bolkiah also some close callstonight. But Faiq made amends when he converted a penalty in the 67th minute while Muhammad Hanif Hamir scored Brunei’s third goal three minutes into added time.

Phattana Syvillay blasted all three goals for Laos after the break to put the final score at 4-3.

Laos coach Veunsavanh Sivisay was pleased with his team performance today. “I told the players they must go for a win, no matter what the score, we want our ranking to improve. I only wish that our last game had been with Cambodia as it would have been a strong fight.”

Brunei’s team manager Haji Mohd Noor Abd Hamid was also pleased with his players. “In fact, I am happy with the team’s overall performance here. They showed that they can match the best teams here.”


Cambodia 3 3 0 0 8 3 5 9
Laos 3 2 0 1 7 6 1 6
Brunei DS 3 1 0 2 5 8 -3 3
Timor Leste 3 0 0 3 4 7 -3 0
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