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U16 side start well at tourney

A first half brace by striker Nub Tola fired Cambodia to a well earned 2-1 victory over the Philippines in their opening Group B game of the AFF U16 Football Championships at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane on Friday.

Taking the pitch after the formal inauguration of the 10-team regional event, Cambodia shot ahead as early as the seventh minute when Nob Tola produced a header of quality off a cross from Firo Fi In. The Filipinos bounced back to level the scores through striker Neil Fegidero four minutes later, but a solo drive by Nob Tola led to Cambodia’s second and decisive goal.

There were near misses on both sides even as the Philippines suffered a major setback in the closing stages when Neil Fegidero picked up his second yellow card booking and was forced out of the contest.

“It is always good to win, but there is lot of work to be done in areas of passing and evading markers,” said Cambodia’s head coach Daisuke Yoshikoa of Japan.

In their second game yesterday, Cambodia drew 1-1 with Myanmar, although they squandered a second half penalty to grab all three points.

Earlier in Pool A on Saturday, Malaysia and Thailand drew 2-2 while Indonesia were held to a 3-3 draw by Timor Leste. In a group B encounter, Singapore trounced Vietnam 5-0.

Cambodia face Vietnam at 7pm tomorrow night. The final is set for July 20.

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