BINAN, Laguna — Cambodia took the second semifinal seat for Group A of the Southeast Asian Games men’s football competition after a 3-1 win over Malaysia on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The victory put into naught the Philippines’ 6-1 blowout of Timor Leste in a simultaneous kickoff at the Binan Football Stadium here and failed to make it as Cambodia prevailed on goal difference.
Things looked to be going the U22 Azkals’ way as they took a 2-0 lead at halftime behind goals from Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo, while the Cambodia-Malaysia match reached halftime with no goal.
However, In Sodavid and Sieng Chanthea struck goals in the 56th and 57th minutes respectively to put Cambodia up. Keo Sokpheng then iced Cambodia’s offense with a 68th minute goal.
The U22 Azkals, needing to win by a huge margin to make the semis, pulled away in the second half, starting with a 54th minute goal from Mar Diano and a 75th minute strike from Dylan De Bruycker before Aguinaldo completed a hat trick with goals in the 85th and 90th minutes to stretch their lead at 6-0.
Malaysia even kept things more interesting when Quentin Cheng put the team on the board in the 89th minute to cut Cambodia’s lead to two.
However, Cambodia eventually survived especially after Nathaniel Reis scored on a free kick in stoppage time for Timor Leste that eventually shut the U22 Azkals’ hopes.
The Philippines failed to advance to the semis after posting only a +5 goal difference compared to Cambodia’s +7. Ivan Stewart Saldajeno / PNA – northboundasia.com