Cambodia took a giant step towards a place in this November’s 2016 Suzuki Cup with a 3-0 drubbing of Brunei to record their second win in the four-team qualifiers at the rain-hit Olympic Stadium yesterday evening.
In the day’s first fixture, Laos eked out a 2-1 win over Timor-Leste under testing underfoot conditions brought about by a steady drizzle.
Having lost the opener to Cambodia last Saturday, Laos found the match winner late in the game through Souliyavong after Phattana’s first-half penalty had been neutralised by Ricardo Mala’s goal in the second half for Timor-Leste.
Coach Lee Tae Hoon included stars Prak Mony Odom and Chan Vathanaka in the starting line-up to a roar of approval from another massive crowd and the duo quickly stamped their mark on the game.
A spectacular dive to his left in the second minute saw Cambodian goalkeeper Om Sereyroth divert a powerful goalbound drive by Shaharzen Said. If Brunei took some comfort from this early flutter they were in for a rude shock within minutes.
A breathtaking corner from Prak Mony Odom shook Brunei as the well-flighted ball curled into the top corner. Moments later it was Vathanaka’s turn to deliver another shock with a powerful free-kick that set off a frenzy as Sok Sovann did well to head the ball down for the onrushing Keo Sokpheng to slam the ball in.
In a span of less than 10 minutes Cambodia were 2-0 and Brunei were visibly shaken. It took a while for the Wasps to reorganise themselves and the closest they could get to scoring was when Adi Said failed to beat Om Sereyroth in a one-on-one situation well inside the box.
As the break approached, a speedy break down the middle by Prak Mony Odom caught the Brunei backline completely off-guard and the Svay Rieng star deftly worked his way deep into the box, drew the goalkeeper out and neatly placed the ball into an empty net to make it 3-0.
The Wasps showed greater resolve in the second half but towards the end lost the services of defender Yura Yunos, who got a straight red for dragging down Tit Dina.Cambodia sit on top of the table with six points from two matches and will take on Timor-Leste in the final fixture on Friday at 6.30pm.
“I am very happy with the result. But we have a job to finish and another game to win,” coach Lee Tae Hoon said after the match.