Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia held goalless as China top group



Cambodia held goalless as China top group

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia’s U17s were unable to score against the Philippines in their AFC U19 Championship 2018 qualifier on Saturday.

Cambodia held goalless as China top group

Cambodia head coach Inoue Kazunori described Saturday’s goalless draw against a much-changed Philippines side a regrettable result after his side finished distant runners-up behind China in Group G of the AFC U19 Championship 2018 qualifiers at the Olympic Stadium.

As expected, China topped the group after a three-match sweep, beating Myanmar in the final tie 1-0 and thereby opening up a bright chance for Cambodia to finish a respectable second with six points if they could beat the Philippines, who had conceded a whopping 12 goals in two defeats at the hands of both China and Myanmar.

A victory from the game would have bettered Cambodia’s chances of making it to the finals as one of the five best runners-up but that prospect dimmed as the home side could only salvage one point after missing a bundle of decent chances, marked by some poor finishing and robust defending from the Filipinos.

With nine other group matches yet to to be completed, Cambodia will have to wait until at least November 8 to know whether their four points will be good enough to place them among the top five runners-up.

“We expected a win and three points to have a better chance of qualifying for the finals so a draw was certainly not what we wanted,” a disappointed Kazunori said after the game.

“We are still weak in the basics like ball control, passing and finishing. We had so many chances but failed to convert them. [But] I must say the players did their best,” the coach said, as counterpart Jose Maria Aberasturi claimed it was the best he had seen from his players over the three games.

Having been narrowly beaten by China in the opener, Cambodia’s dramatic comeback from two goals down against Myanmar had considerably boosted team morale.

Weighed against the backdrop of the Philippine demolitions, it seemed as if it would be only a matter of time before Cambodia pulled away.

But the reality on the pitch was something different from what the Ca mbodian players and the fans in the stands would have been expecting.

Led by second-choice goal-keeper Jessie Reil Semblante, the Filipinos were in no mood to relent at any part of the game.

Sin Kakkada, who was hailed a national hero for his two superb free-kick goals against Myanmar, had several prominent chances as did Sieng Chanthea. But on the break, there were some decent Philippine attempts that had the Young Warriors worried.

China make finals
China earned the distinction of being the first team to qualify from this cycle after doing just enough to beat Myanmar. Liu Ruofan, who scored twice in China’s 6-0 win over the Philippines, scored the only goal of the game in the 38th minute.

While China needed only a draw to head the group, it was a must-win for Myanmar after their 3-2 loss to Cambodia. Despite a spirited effort, Myanmar could not unlock a stubborn Chinese defence.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro