Down by two first-half goals, Cambodia staged a courageous fightback inspired by Sin Kakada to record a 3-2 win over Myanmar in their AFC U19 Championship 2018 qualifier at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
The long-suffering Cambodian fans at last were treated to a sensational finish that saw the national team at its fighting best.
The winning goal came almost in sync with the final whistle as San Kimheng had the presence of mind to head the ball in after his previous attempt took a deflection.
But the seeds of this heroic and unforgettable fightback came from Kakada, who breathed new life into his side with two splendid strikes from range. On both occasions his curling shots found the top corner.
And just minutes before scoring his first, Kakada’s fast rising shot from the edge of the box agonisingly cannoned off the crossbar.
Earlier, Myanmar took a firm hold of the game in the first half through goals from Thet Paing Htoo and Pyae Sone Naing.
Cambodia are now well placed for direct qualification if they beat the Philippines on Saturday.Myanmar will have to beat China to keep their qualification hopes alive.
China win big
On Tuesday, China snatched a stoppage-time win over Cambodia only after a defensive mix-up, but the Chinese were in a punishing mood right from the off in a 6-0 thrashing of the Philippines in the early match. It became obvious from the first few minutes of play that it was unlikely the young Filipinos could hold out for long.
And it came as a surprise to no one when Xiu Ao opened the scoring in the 17th minute.
China quickly doubled the lead when Liu Ruofan neatly turned in a penalty and added another one to the tally before the break.
Taking the pitch as a substitute in the second half, Yeerfan Yezimujiang stamped his mark in the most memorable fashion possible.
After his first strike in the 53rd minute, he was back in business to polish off a hat-trick, netting his second and third goals three minutes apart as the final whistle neared.