In an almost carnival like atmosphere Cambodia managed to crush Timor-Leste 4-0, nearing they not only start with an opening day win, but with genuine hopes of competing for a medal.
Before the game had even started the atmosphere was electric in the National Olympic Stadium, clearly now a great choice for the men’s football tournament. Almost 30,000 people packed in, and at the start Cambodian fans were going crazy with huge flags and indeed Mexican waves, before of course football took over.
First-half Cambodia 2 Timor-Leste 0
The first half opened fairly evenly between the two teams, with Timor-Leste on occasion being given space to play their unique and skillful passing style. Cambodia though buoyed on by the crowd opened the scoring on the 38th minute through a beautifully crafted goal by Chou Sinit, before he knocked in a second in the dying seconds of the first-half.
Second-Half Cambodia 4 Timor-Leste 0
Cambodia though were to come out screaming in the second-half, rarely giving tiny Timor a chance at goal. This resilience was rewarded in the 73rd minute when when Sor Rotana slotted home from close range to send the home fans into a frenzy. The drubbing was finished in the 82nd minute when Lim Pisoth sealed the game at 4-0. This though did not stop the home fans screaming for more goals, which they very nearly achieved.
What does it mean?
With main rivals Indonesia beating the Philippines 3-0, courtesy of two late injury time goals it means that for now at least Cambodia top their group. Beating Timor-Leste was thus a big deal, with the team having previously knocked them out of the AFF Under 22 Championship, with largely the same squads on both sides.
Now the host nation merely need a result in their next match against the Philippines to all, but ensure getting to the next round.
For Timor-Leste it involves going back to the dressing room and regrouping. The team on their day can play great football and with a tie against arch rivals Indonesia coming up will want to up their game.
You can read our interview with Mouzinho here
Cambodia will play the Philippines on Tuesday 2nd May, while Timor-Leste will take on Myanmar in a must-win match in a same day double header.
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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