VIENTIANE (16 July 2011) – The final Group B preliminary round match between Singapore and Cambodia today could have gone either way. With a highly prized place in the semifinals of the AFF Under-16 Championship at stake, both sides gave it their all. In the end though, Singapore took their chances well to advance to the last four.
Singapore defeated Cambodia 4-0 today to finish second in the standings and set up a semifinal showdown against Thailand on Monday. In the other Group B game, played out simultaneously at the National Sports Complex Stadium, Myanmar defeated Vietnam 3-1 to top the group and claim a tough semifinal encounter against hosts Laos.
The Lions snatched a three-goal lead the break and that made the difference. Cambodia had their chances, and had they taken it, would have still been in the fight at the break. Singapore netted their first half goals through Khairuddin Omar, Muhammad Azhar Ramli and skipper Adam Swandi.
Cambodia pulled together when play resumed but once again could not make the best of their chances. Singapore too had several opportunities and did well to sneak in another through Azhar midway through the second half.
At the Anouvong Stadium in the heart of town today, Cambodia took the first crack in the sixth minute, but it was Singapore who went ahead two minutes later. Khairuddin worked his way into the box and let loose a low left-footed shot into the corner. He could have been on the scoresheet again but missed a header in the 19th minute.
Hoy Phallin’s freekick in the 27th minute came off the keeper but Nub Tola was unable to slot in the rebound.
The Singapore bench were on their feet again in the 34th minute after Azhar tapped in a pass from Muhammad Zulfadhmi who had raced down to the touchline and set-up his teammate. Four minutes on, the inability of the defenders and keeper to clear the ball allowed Adam to slam Singapore further ahead.
Cambodia had two good attempts, in the 36th and 43rd minutes but Bun Chansopheak and Nub Tola were off the mark.
The Cambodians displayed better form after the break and created several good moves as they did earlier, were simply unable to control their shots. In the last 15 minutes of the game, the Cambodians were clearly out of wind probably because they fought furiously to try and get back into the game.
In the 76th minute, Singapore celebrated their fourth goal, and probably their place in the semis, when Azhar added another goal to his personal tally.
CAMBODIA: Prak Pirun (GK), Saret Krya, Kouk Sochea (Cpt), Nub Tola, Sok Sros, Bun Chansopheak, Pen Channa, In Vichhay, Firo Fi In, Savi Socekirin, Soeug Sophana
Coach: Daisuke Yoshioka
Yellow: Kouk Sochea (75th)
SINGAPORE: Heirul Suhanes Mohamed Shanel (GK), Ehvin Sasidharan, Mahathir Azeman, Muhammad Amirul Adli Azmi, Muhammad Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Muhammad Muhelmy Suhaimi, Adam Swandi (Cpt), Muhamad Azhar Ramli, Raja Ahmad Zaki Raja Rajah Kamarul Zaman, Khairuddin Omar, Taufiq Muqminin Hossain
Coach: Dejan Gluscevic
Goalscorers: Khairuddin Omar (8th), Muhammad Azhar Ramli (34th, 76th), Adam Swandi (38th)
Yellow: Khairuddin Omar (63rd)
Referee: Sipaseuth Sinbandith (Lao)
Assistant Referee 1: Somphavant Loung Lath (Lao)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohd Yusri Muhamad (Mas)
Fourth Official: Suhaizi Shukri (Mas)
Match Commissioner: Yeh Htut Tin (Mya)
Referee Assessor: Yeh Htut Tin (Mya)
General Coordinator: Pairit Tanpairee (Tha)
- Teams in bold qualify for the semifinals
SEMIFINAL FIXTURES (July 18)
1700hrs: Thailand vs Singapore
1900hrs: Myanmar vs Laos