YANGON (26 March 2011) – The Philippines made the main draw of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup while Cambodia and Myanmar faltered.
Needing to win to confirm their place in the next round, the Philippines hammered Bangladesh 3-0 at the Aung San Stadium- a followed up from the 1-1 draw they scored against hosts Myanmar and then the scoreless draw against Palestine.
A strike from Ian Araneta in the 41st minute gave the Philippines the best of start before Angel Aldeguer Guirado struck twice (55th and 80th minute) in the second-half for the win.
With the win, Philippines qualified for the tournament proper behind Palestines.
In the meantime hosts Myanmar were disappointed that they could not take advantage of playing at home to secure their passage into the tournament proper.
The drawn first game against the Philippines was not exactly inspiring and the loss to Bangladesh in the second match only made things harder for Myanmar.
The hosts then completed their fixtures with a 3-1 loss to Palestine which saw them finishing at the bottom of the heap in Group A.
In Male (Maldives) in Group A of the qualifiers, Cambodia were also at the wrong end of their campaign when suffered back to back defeats.
A 4-0 loss to hosts Maldives was a nightmare start for Cambodia and where they fell further with a 3-0 loss to 2006 champions Tajikistan at the Rasmee Dhandu Stadium.
The two defeats only confirmed their elimination from the main draw of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup even though they still have a game in hand against Kyrgyzstan.
“You played well in the first 70 minute. You showed us great energy,” said Lee Tae Hoon, the chief coach of Cambodia to his players.