Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Warriors edge Philippines, China upset Japan




Warriors edge Philippines, China upset Japan

Warriors edge Philippines, China upset Japan

After missing a first-half penalty, Cambodia squeezed out a 1-0 win over the Philippines in an inconsequential fixture much to the delight of thousands of fans as China pulled off a 2-1 upset over defending champions Japan to clinch Group J honours in the AFC U23 Championship China 2018 qualifiers, which concluded at the Olympic Stadium yesterday evening.

As China have already qualified for January’s Championship proper as hosts, the sixth best second placed team will now get that qualifying slot along with all group winners and five best runners-up.

In a tense encounter marked by physicality from both sides and frequent verbal duels, the Chinese players raised their competitive edge several notches compared to their goalless draw against Cambodia and a laboured win over the Philippines.

With Japan unable to make much headway against robust opposition, China seized upon two speedy counterattacks to garner a 2-0 lead. Japan hit back late in the game to reduce the margin but China saw the game out comfortably.

Japan saw one of their players sent off for a reckless tackle in injury time.China’s three-match tally stands at seven points to Japan’s six, made up of an 8-0 win over the Philippines on the opening day and a 2-0 defeat of Cambodia two days later.

Cambodia finished third with four points and the Philippines, like their performance in the 2015 cycle, finished with no points.

At the start of the day Cambodia had a theoretical chance of levelling up with China in the event of Japan winning their third straight game. But once that hope was dashed the game between Cambodia and the Philippines was purely of academic interest.

The Philippines did well to keep Cambodia quiet in the first half, even surviving a penalty earned by Svay Rieng’s Sok Samnang.

But Army midfielder Chreng Polroth could do no better than drive the spot-kick straight at the goalkeeper.

Approaching the hour mark, coach Leonardo Vittorino’s decision to bring in Sun Vandeth was well borne out when the substitute triggered panic in front of the Philippines goal, with Sok Samnang quickly converging on the ball to find the back of the net.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from