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Cambodia thrash Timor-Leste at SEA Games

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Keo Sokpheng (right) celebrates scoring Cambodia’s fourth goal against Timor-Leste at the Southeast Asian Games in Manila on Wednesday night. Football Federation of Cambodia via facebook

Cambodia thrash Timor-Leste at SEA Games

The Angkor Warriors built on their hard fought draw against hosts the Philippines in their opening game of the Southeast Asian Games with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Timor Leste on Wednesday night.

A sparsely filled Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila saw Cambodia take the lead in the seventh minute after Timor-Leste keeper Aderito Raul Fernandes was adjudged to have handled a back pass in the area.

Sin Kakada took the ensuing indirect free-kick which was deflected in off the shambolic wall.

The Cambodians thought they’d gone two up in the 36th minute when Fernandes could only manage to parry a long range shot onto the crossbar and Keo Sokpheng netted from the rebound. However, the goal was ruled out for offside.

Timor-Leste posed little threat to the Cambodian defence with a mere three forays into their opponents’ penalty area in the first forty-five minutes, but they managed to go into the break only one goal in arrears.

The second half continued as the first had ended, with Cambodia completely dominant. However it wasn’t until the 70th minute that they managed to double their lead.

Seut Baraing fed a well-weighted pass to Sokpheng on the left, who took on the Timor-Leste defence and crossed to give Reung Bunheing an easy tap in.

Shortly afterwards, the pair nearly worked the same move again, only for Bunheing to fail to latch onto Sokpheng’s cross with the goal unguarded.

However, a third was not far away. Sokpheng jinxed through the Timor-Leste defence and unleashed a shot which Fernandes palmed into the path of the incoming Sieng Chanthea, who slammed the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

Sokpheng then combined in a deft one-two on the left with Chantea, who squared the ball back across goal before the Visakha star drilled a lovely right foot shot past the flailing hand of Fernandes.

With time running out, the Timor-Leste defence again failed to clear. Bunheing seized on the rebound to seal the win with a fifth, and the victorious Cambodian team received a standing ovation from their vocal supporters.

Cambodia now sit top of Group A, equal with Myanmar on four points, but today’s victory giving them a superior goal difference.

John Statham

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