Cambodia 1 Philippines 1 – Hosts Stunned by Last Gasp Equalizer   

Football Federation of Cambodia
Football Federation of Cambodia
Cambodia 1 Philippines 1

It was a night of expectation and the knowledge that a win would almost certainly secure Cambodia’s place on the semi finals. It would also (potentially) be the first time Honda had won back to back games as coach. Sadly the Philippines did not get the memo and instead spoiled the party in dramatic last gasp fashion.  

To read about Philippines beating Timor-Leste click here

First Half – Cambodia 1 Philippines 0

The game opened with a huge roar from the home crowd and the opening exchanges certainly did not disappoint. Lim Pisoth was causing problems at every opportunity and Rina and Norakept combined to cause difficultly for the visitors on numerous occasions.

Cambodia remained cool and calm in possession without creating anything concrete, while the Philippines seemed happy to let Cambodia have the ball, before regularly posing danger on the counter attack.  

The deadlock though was broken on the half hour mark when some neat build up play forced an opening for Rina, who duly smashed the ball home to send the crowd into literal hysterics. Far from their heads going down though,  the Philippine streamlined in the fight and were unlucky to go in at half-time one down.

Second Half Cambodia 1 Philippines 1

You’d have guessed the message from Honda at the break would have been “keep them out” and for a while at least Cambodia did just that.

The Filipinos though came out strong and with purpose and began forging little openings throughout the game as the Khmers seemed to have almost settled for their 1-0 victory. Cambodia whilst playing well lacked the killer instinct in attack and if anyone was going to score, it looked like it would be the Philippines.

As time dripped away the substitutions from Honda were very obviously for holding on to the 1-0 win, which soon became apparent on the pitch as Cambodia started wasting time from as early as the 75th minute.

Towards the end of the match a loud boom hit the air, almost forebodingly as people were already leaving the stadium, safe in the knowledge Cambodia had won. And then it happened. A great cross to Filipino sub Carino saw him rise above a sleeping Khmer defence to score a  beautiful and indeed deserved equalizer.

What does it mean?

Despite what Honda says about “the team doing better” and his usual cue card lines, this was what it was, a drawn game that the hosts should have won. If you are going to talk seriously about medals, then you cannot afford games like this. And speaking of seriously? Mr Honda the shorts are only funny when we win.

From a qualification point of view it means beating Myanmar, losing to Indonesia less than 3-0 and hoping the Philippines don’t score too many goals against Timor-Leste. Yes, we are largely relying on Timor-Leste to get through.

For the Philippine it is very much game on. They were unlucky again Indonesia and were worthy of their draw today. If they reach the semi-finals it will be because they deserved it, not because they were lucky.

Cambodia will next take on Myanmar on the 7th May, a game they will almost definitely need to win in order to face any chance of qualifying.

The Philippines will take on Timor-Leste on May 4th. Score more than four foals an they will be very much in the driving seat.

This article is adapted from BPVE, ( reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (
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