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AFF U23 Championship

AFF U23 Championship: Timor-Leste to battle it out with Cambodia for top spot

4:51 PM GMT 19/02/2022
Da Costa Timor-Leste U23
A win or a draw for Cambodia will be enough to seal the top spot in Group A

Cambodia will host Timor-Leste in the final group stage encounter of the ongoing AFF U23 Championship at the Morodok Techno National Stadium, Phnom Penh on Sunday evening.

It is a relatively straightforward encounter for the home team as even a draw will ensure them the top spot in Group A and a place in the semi-finals. They have won their first two matches and sit atop the table with six points.

Cambodia have been in scintillating form in the tournament. After scoring six past Brunei, they churned out a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Philippines.

Their backline has been impenetrable and boast of maintaining two clean sheets in two outings. Tes Sambath, the skipper, has been marshalling the defensive department with elan. He is being ably supported by his teammates in Leng Nora, Yue Safy, and Taing Bunchhai. During set-pieces, Sambath is a threat in the opposition box with his impressive aerial ability.

CAMBODIA U23 RECENT RESULTS

Date

Match

Competition

October 23, 2021

Cambodia 4-2 Hong Kong

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

October 26, 2021

Japan 4-0 Cambodia

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

February 14, 2022

Cambodia 6-0 Brunei

AFF U-23 Championship

February 17, 2022

Philippines 0-1 Cambodia

AFF U-23 Championship

Hirose Ryu, the head coach of Cambodia, will also be relieved with the goal-scoring form of his team. They have scored seven goals so far in the competition and each of them has been struck by a different player. So they are not reliant on any individual for the goals and instead the team is contributing to the cause. Against Philippines, they showed their character and were relentless in their pursuit of the three points and finally, it was Sin Sovannmakara who took up the mantle by breaking the deadlock.

Meanwhile, a win for Timor-Leste will fire them to the top of the pack. Against Philippines, individual mistakes cost them two points. So against Cambodia, they have to remain on their toes for the entire 90 minutes as even a slight error might prove costly. Mouzinho de Lima will be the key player for Timor-Leste as he has the ability to single-handedly change the complexion of a match.

TIMOR-LESTE U23 RECENT RESULTS

Date

Match

Competition

October 31, 2021

Timor-Leste 1-0 Philippines

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

October 28, 2021

Timor-Leste 0-6 South Korea

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

October 25, 2021

Singapore 2-2 Timor-Leste

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

February 14

Timor-Leste 2-2 Philippines

AFF U-23 CHampionship

February 17

Brunei 3-1 Timor-Leste

AFF U-23 CHampionship

Paulo Gali will be another player who has the potential to be a difference-maker. He was brought on as a substitute against Brunei and within a few minutes, he proved his mettle by orchestrating the move that led to the equaliser.

He is also known for his inch-perfect deliveries from set-pieces which could prove to be a helpful tool in the match. There is little doubt that Cambodia will be a hard nut to crack, but if Fabio da Silva's men play as a unit they might be able to pull off a win against the hosts.

Group A Table

TeamPWDLGFGAGDPts

1

Cambodia

220070+76
2

Timor-Leste

211

0

53

+2

4
3

Philippines

201123-11
4

Brunei

200219-80