Cambodia made a fine start to their campaign in Group A of the men’s football event at the SEA Games when they crushed the Philippines 3-1 here tonight at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Obviously the lure of a big bonus from the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) did the trick as Cambodia went into attack mode right from the start as the Philippines defended in numbers.
The early chances came and went as Prak Mony Udom and also Keo Sokpheng could do no better than just to give the ball straight to Philippines keeper Florencio Badelic.
It was not until the half hour mark that the Cambodian fans finally got a reason to celebrate when Mony Udon came barreling down the left flank before blasting in with a left-footed shot to beat Badelic for the first time.
And with just three minutes left of the first half, Keo Sokpheng stabbed home the second goal after his earlier attempt was blocked by Badelic.
“The result was okay, the performance was not so good,” said Cambodian coach Lee Tae Hoon afterwards. “We made many mistakes and we did not check properly.”
The Philippines recovered their lost colour into the second half as Paolo Salenga provided a taste of what’s to come in the 53rd minute with a shot that was blocked by Cambodian custodian Serei Reth Um.
A minute later, Reth Um simply had no answer to Salenga’s effort when the later clipped the ball in following a cross from Kennedy Uzoka from the right.
As the game went into a higher gear, the Philippines were pushing hard for the equalizer but neither Salenga nor Nathanael Alquiros could finish things off.
But Cambodia then finished things off ten minutes from the end when substitute Chan Vathanaka capitalized on a defensive mistake off Richard Talaroc to score.
The Philippines finished the tie with ten man when Arnel Amita picked up his second yellow card of the game.
“We played better in the second half than the first. We managed to score and if we had finished things off with the chances that we had, we could have had at least won a point tonight,” added Philippines coach Marlon Maro.
On the other hand over at the Bishan Stadium in Group B, troubled Timor Leste rebounded from their two-match defeat to edge Brunei 2-1.
Neto Palmeira opened account for Timor after just 24 minutes before Faiq Bolkiah then slammed home the equalizer in the 68th minute.
But Paulo Rosa Ribeiro then provided Timor with the winner in the 74th minute.
RESULTS – 3 June 2015
Timor Leste 2 Brunei 1
Cambodia 3 Philippines 1