A physically superior Myanmar snatched a 3-0 victory over Cambodia to join Australia from Group B in the semifinals of the 2015 AFF BIDC U-16 football championship at the floodlit Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
In the first of the semifinals today, Myanmar will face Group A toppers Laos while Australia will take on Thailand, leading to the final showdown on Sunday.
Long before the Cambodian colts took the pitch in their all blue colours, the stadium was near full in lively anticipation that the home team would rise up to the win-at-all costs challenge, their only recourse to a semifinal place since they trailed Myanmar by two points in the group standings dominated by Australia.
With a massive vocal support from the stands egging them on, Cambodia went all out in the early stages only to be strongly pushed back by their more robust and skilful rivals.
Myanmar hit the front in the 16th minute through Pyae Sone Naing and armed with that lead they gradually consolidated their hold, while shutting out all avenues of a possible Cambodian recovery.
Cambodia’s coach Ike Yusuke conceded after the match that Myanmar’s depth of experience and physical attributes had combined well to put his side out of stride.
“The result was a big disappointment for the team and thousands of fans who have been supporting us from Day One.
We have learnt some important lessons from this tournament and Now we have to shift our focus on strengthening the team,” the coach said.