Cambodia U19 national team keeper Um Vichet (right) walks off the pitch after a job well done against Malaysia on Friday in Yangon. Photo by: Ung Chamroeun
Cambodian U19 national team goalkeeper Um Vichet was the saviour of his side in their opening match of the 2011 AFF U19 Championship in Yangon on Friday. The Ministry of National Defence team stopper deflected all five of Malaysia’s efforts to force a 0-0 stalemate and a share of the points.
“This is the remarkable point for our team in both performance and spirit against the might of the Malaysian team,” said Cambodia’s general manager Ork Samnang.
The manager heaped praise on his young goalkeeper, a sentiment shared by Malaysia coach Ismail Bin Ibrahim.
Seven minutes into their match at Thuwunna Stadium, Malaysia striker Mohamad Syafig Shalinhin was expertly blocked by Um Vichet, who then prevented the same player from scoring off the ensuing corner kick.
Cambodia’s Tith Dyna had a chance ten minutes later, but saw his shot saved.
On the stroke of half time, Um Vichet was at hand again to deny Muhamad Akmal Bin Ishak.
In the second session, the Kingdom’s sheet was kept clean by more inspiration goalkeeping from Um Vichet while midfield star Mat Hassan of Prek Pra Keila was substituted due to stomach cramps.
The Kingdom capitalised on their moral boosting draw with the fancied Malaysian side by producing a 5-3 victory over the Philippines yesterday at Aung San Stadium.
The result, which was spearheaded by a Phany I Rotha hat-trick and also featured Philippines captain Fitch Johnson netting a treble, saw Cambodia go top of Group A after the Philippines had drawn 1-1 with Singapore on Friday and Thailand edged Malaysia 1-0 yesterday.
Cambodia now come up against last year’s runners-up Thailand tomorrow, while Singapore face Malaysia.
In Group B, hosts Myanmar were held to a 1-1 draw with Vietnam on Saturday as Laos inflicted Brunei second 7-0 thumping of the campaign. Laos and Vietnam sit at the top of the group on four points apiece. Indonesia sit in third on a point.
Myanmar take on Brunei and Indonesia play Vietnam in matches today. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAN RILEY