Cambodia are set to face Singapore in their last group game of the 2011 AFF U19 Championship in Yangon today. While the Kingdom’s boys should be confident of grabbing a victory against the city-state side that have struggled throughout the competition and currently foot Group A, their chances of progressing to the semifinals for the first time remain slim.
Cambodia are on level pegging with Malaysia at four points a piece, but will require a massive win over Singapore to overcome the eight-goal difference they trail Malaysia by. However, in the unlikely event of Malaysia losing or drawing with the Philippines on Saturday, any kind of win will be enough to see the Kingdom through.
Group A toppers Thailand, who have won the competition twice previously but lost 1-0 to Australia in last year’s final, need just two points from their remaining two group fixtures to seal a semifinals berth. The Philippines and Singapore, meanwhile, hold onto a mathematical chance of advancing.
The Cambodia versus Singapore match kicks off at 4pm today at the Thuwunna Stadium, while the Philippines versus Thailand clash runs concurrently over at the Aung San Stadium.
Cambodia were handed a 5-0 thrashing by Thailand on Tuesday, but the scoreline flattered their neighbouring rivals according to assistant coach Rith Dikar.
“The result could have been different had we been awarded a penalty kick to equalize [when 1-0 down]. After suffering this wrong decision, most of our players lost their focus,” he said.
Indonesian referee Oki Dwi Putra Senjaya had denied a penalty for a tackle in the box on Prak Mony Udom, and also waved away appeals for a similar infraction on Phanny I Rotha.
Cambodia also hit the bar twice during the match in which five different Thai players got their names on the scoresheet.
In yesterday’s Group B clashes, Indonesia heaped yet more misery on Brunei with a 10-0 demolition, while hosts Myanmar survived having two players sent off to pip Laos 1-0. Vietnam still head the group on goal difference. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY UNG CHAMROEUN