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AFF Championship

AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup: Slick Cambodia romp to 5-1 victory over Brunei Darussalam

14:47 WAT 29/12/2022
Cambodia Vs Brunei
Cambodia outclassed Brunei Darussalam to pick up crucial three points.

It was a night to remember for Ryu Hirose and his side as the Angkor Warriors ran riot in Phnom Penh, smashing Brunei 5-1 in what must surely be one of their best-ever AFF Championship performances.

The night did not get off to the best of starts, though. It was minnows Brunei who stunned the Morodok Techo National Stadium into silence as Nur Ikhwan Othman took advantage of some schoolboy defending by the hosts to head the Wasps into an early lead.

From then on, however, it was the Cambodia show. The comeback started just ten minutes later, as centre-back Tes Sambath channeled his inner Neymar to beat his man on the right flank before delivering a pinpoint cross for Choun Chanchav to head home.

It was nearly 2-1 within a minute, as the effervescent Nick Taylor smashed a shot off the woodwork as the Koupreys began pushing for the lead. They would’ve had it, too, if not for an excellent save by goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring to deny Bunheing on the stroke of half-time.

However, the second half would prove a fruitful one. It got off to the best possible start for Cambodia as Taylor again burst into the Brunei penalty area before being felled by Haimie. The referee pointed to the spot, and the Texas-born wingman picked himself off the canvas to slot home the go-ahead goal for his side.

A slew of chances then fell to Hirose’s men, as Pisoth fired wide with just the keeper to beat in the 57th minute before Haimie pulled off an incredible one-on-one save to deny Sokpheng five minutes later. Cambodia wouldn’t be denied for long, though, as a second penalty was soon awarded.

If the first one was undisputed, the second penalty can be described as incredibly harsh at best, with the ball striking what looked to be Haziq Kasyful’s shoulder from close range. The referee awarded it, however, and Keo Sokpheng needed no second invitation to put clear daylight between the sides.

It got better for Cambodia as Lim Pisoth added his name to the scoresheet in the 80th minute, as his deflected effort from the left cruelly wrong-footed the excellent Haimie and crept in at the near post. He soon had a second, as he beat Wafi in the area and rifled one past a helpless Haimie to wrap up the win in the 89th minute.

Cambodia will face record champions Thailand in Bangkok in their final group game on January 2, needing a win to qualify for the semi-finals for the very first time.