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Cambodia futsal team slump out of contention

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Futsal match between Cambodia (blue) and Vietnam.

Bangkok

Cambodia continued to struggle at the 2012 AFC Futsal Championships Qualifiers in Bangkok yesterday, falling 7-1 to Vietnam to see their hopes of an advance to the tournament proper fizzle out.

A brace by Hyanh Ba Tuan and goals from captain Nguyen Bao Quan and Nguyen Trong Thien had put the Vietnamese firmly in the driving seat during the first period at Krungthep Thonburi Indoor Stadium.

A second half strike by Phang Sunly, Cambodia’s only score of the campaign so far, had little effect on the outcome as Nguyen Bao Quan doubled his tally while Phung Trong Luan and Luu Quyanh Toan also got in on the act.

Phang Sunly looked the most active of the Cambodians, who as a team seemed better organised than during their embarrassing 15-0 loss to Australia the previous day.

Goalkeeper Chum Sophorn also made some notable saves.

Cambodia’s Vann Sokretya remained in hospital after falling seriously ill on Tuesday morning, and Prom Yaneth was ruled out due to injury.

Cambodia coach Hok Sottitya admitted defensive errors were to blame for the comprehensive scoreline, while praising Vietnam as “a great team.”

“Some of them used to play against me when I was also a player,” added the former national futsal team captain.

With the victory, Vietnam ensured safe passage to the semifinals.

Australia appear destined to join them despite surrendering a 3-1 half time lead over Malaysia to draw their match 4-4 earlier yesterday.

A win for Australia from their remaining game against Vietnam at 2pm today over at Bangkok’s Kiraves Stadium will grant them top spot in Group B, although a draw will be enough to see them make the semis.

Cambodia battle Malaysia at the same time at Krungthep Thonburi Indoor Stadium to avoid bringing home the wooden spoon, with the latter needing Australia to lose and to overcome a goal difference margin of 19.

Australia won the 2012 edition of the qualifiers, which was held in Jakarta, while Vietnam also went on to the finals stage after grabbing third place via a playoff win over Malaysia.

This year’s finals will be staged in the UAE from May 12-22. Iran are the reigning champions and have triumphed in all but one of the past 11 competitions.

Today’s Futsal Fixtures
At Krungthep Thonburi Indoor Stadium
Malaysia v Cambodia – 2pm
Philippines v Myanmar – 5pm

At Kiraves Stadium
Australia v Vietnam – 2pm
Thailand v Indonesia – 5pm

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