Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s U21s tackle Myanmar in friendly match

Kingdom’s U21s tackle Myanmar in friendly match

Cambodian U16 coach Inoue Kazunori (left) and Myanmar coach Nyi Nyi Latt at a press conference yesterday.
Cambodian U16 coach Inoue Kazunori (left) and Myanmar coach Nyi Nyi Latt at a press conference yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun

Kingdom’s U21s tackle Myanmar in friendly match

Lively anticipation surrounds the start of the 11th AFF U16 Youth Football Championship on Sunday as Cambodia hosts the annual regional event for the second year in a row, hoping to perform better than its six previous group stage exits.

All 12 member associations of the ASEAN Football Federation were set to take part in the tournament featuring three groups of four teams.

But that configuration changed to two groups of six and five teams following Indonesia’s non-participation, though the ban imposed last year for political interference on the national team by FIFA was lifted on May 13.

Cambodia have been drawn in the five-team Group B, in the company of Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste and Brunei. The much stronger Group A consists of Myanmar, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines.

As part of its preparations ahead of the opening fixture against Laos on July 11 at the Olympic Stadium, the Cambodian team will take to the same venue today for a friendly against Myanmar, which will kick off at 7pm.

At a joint media conference at the Football Federation of Cambodia, officials from both Cambodia and Myanmar regarded the warm-up game as an ideal build-up for their campaigns.

Cambodian football has enjoyed enormous public support ever since the international team made it to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers last year, through to its elevation to the third round of the Asian Cup qualifying cycle last month.

In previous AFF U16 Championship appearances, Cambodia have never got further than the group stage. Yet the team’s management is confident that with the positivity surrounding Cambodian football after the successes of the senior side, players at other levels of the game will be spurred on to also reach previously unseen heights.

The Championship will be played from July 10-23 at the Olympic and Old stadiums. The top two teams from each group will make it to knockout semifinals on July 21, with the title match and the third place playoff marked for July 23.

If the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes, no extra time will be played. Instead, the winner will be decided via a penalty shootout.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth