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Cambodia U14s start slow

23 Cambodia AFC U14

The Cambodian U14 national team found the going tough in Myanmar, recording a goalless draw and a 5-0 loss in their first two Group F fixtures of the inaugural AFC U14 Championship qualifiers.

An uninspiring 0-0 result against fellow minnows Bangladesh on Tuesday at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyidaw meant the boys went into their second tie against Indonesia yesterday without much in the way of confidence.  

Under the guidance of coach Bouy Dary, a former Cambodian international and head of Phnom Penh Crown Academy, the boys held out against their regional rivals until the 22nd minute, when Egy Maulana Vikri opened the scoring.

The Indonesian attacking midfielder was in imperious form, going on to net three more goals in the space of just 24 minutes. Another strike by forward Ferdiyansyah completed the rout.

Cambodia now have an uphill struggle to grab one of the two berths from the group to the 2014 finals round, to be held in Uzbekistan. They face Laos at 6:30pm Cambodian time tomorrow, before taking on Thailand on Sunday and rounding off their qualifying campaign with a Monday encounter against Singapore.

Other results from the six-team Group F on Tuesday include a 6-2 thrashing of Indonesia by Thailand and Singapore’s 3-1 defeat of Laos.

Group E is also being played concurrently in the Myanmar capital at Wunna Theik Stadium, involving teams from Timor Leste, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Brunei. Both groups conclude on June 6.

The six other groups have already played out across earlier this year. The teams already advancing to the finals are: Group A – Iraq (winners), Syria (runners-up); Group B – Saudi Arabia (winners), Yemen (runners-up); Group C – Tajikistan (winners), Afghanistan (runners-up); Group D – Iran (winners), Pakistan (runners-up); Group G - South Korea (winners), China (runners-up); Group H – North Korea (winners), Japan (runners-up).

Uzbekistan have been give a bye as hosts, while Australia have received an invitational berth.

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