Cambodian U19: Absolutely Heartbreaking For Our Girls…

Cambodian U19 Girls

The Cambodian U19 girls came back from Indonesia under the radar with not much being said about a spirited performance but once again failure to leave the group stages, a fate known only too well by national teams at all levels and gender. However looking a little closer what many will not know is that the girls were so unlucky in the way the competition was set up we should be applauding a giant step forward…

The Set Up…

Ten national teams entered the tournament, which is only in its third edition. Australia and Brunei rejected their invitations, one would imagine the Aussies have bigger things to worry about this month with the women’s world cup coming and Brunei are yet to enter a female football tournament that I’m aware of. Ten teams, two groups of three teams and one group of four. Not the best, or easiest, set up to work from but okay.. The awkwardness comes with qualifying for knockout rounds because we need to get four teams to a semi finals or 8 teams to quarter finals. Neither is possible with this set up so it’s decided that the top team in each group would qualify and the team in second place in each group would be compared and the best placed team would go through.

So what happened next…

Cambodia beat Timor and came back from 1-0 down against Laos to win 2-1. Two wins out of two. The third game against Indonesia needing only a draw they were beaten heavily 0-5.. Not to worry, 5 we have 6 points,  Malaysia have 3 points and so does Myanmar. Somehow Myanmar has gone through. Unfortunately the rules do state that because Cambodia has played an extra game they’ve had more opportunities to secure points. The result against the 4th placed team in the group wouldn’t count. Meaning Cambodia had a 2-1 win and a 0-5 defeat leaving them with -4. Myanmar qualify on 0.

Cambodian U19 Girls

Moving Forwards…

Unfortunately we’ve paid the price again for losing so heavily in a game that we shouldn’t have. However we take the positives from this

Two wins and progress from a year ago and something to build on.

If the women’s game gets some banking behind it then there is no limit to what our girls can achieve. In AFF there isn’t much difference between all the nations, even the more established Thai and Vietnam teams at youth level aren’t far ahead. Invest in the youth teams now and we could Reap the awards later.

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