Cambodia 2-3 Brunei: Come from behind victory for Bruneians
Brunei staged a comeback to clinch a much needed win to retain hopes of qualification for the tournament proper
|By Bhas Kunju
Chief Editor, Goal.com Singapore
A determined Brunei side registered a priceless 3-2 win against Cambodia to claim their first points of the qualification campaign.
Cambodia on the back of two straight defeats started the brighter of the two teams. They were controlling the game with plenty of forward charges into the final third. But a stern Brunei defence snuffed out the attacks.
Prak Mony Udom eventually slotted home on 24 minutes after latching onto a well placed through ball behind the Brunei defence. Buoyed by the goal, Cambodia continued their dominance and just three minutes later Keo Sokngon lashed an effort at goal which took a slight deflection and brushed the outside of the crossbar.
With Brunei on the back-foot and Cambodia taking full control of the game, Shahrazen Said was the only noteworthy spark upfront for the Bruneians.
The Brunei DPMM forward was denied from close range twice just past the half hour mark. First he was quickly thwarted by the Cambodian custodian as he latched onto a long ball behind the defence, and again from inside the 6-yard-box as his glancing header was tipped wide.
The second-half was a different affair with Brunei getting into full gear right from the restart. Shahrazen had another header that went just wide at the near post. From the resulting corner the forward headed straight down with the keeper beaten but the ball bounced just over the crossbar.
The S.League forward's personal duel with the Cambodian goalkeeper continued as just minutes later his shot from inside the penalty box was touched just past the upright. By then, Cambodia were only kept in the game by the heroics of their custodian and sheer luck.
On 56 minutes, Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir managed to grab the much deserved equaliser for Brunei. Sairol Sahari crossed from the left and Aminuddin got on the end of the half-cleared cross at the far post. He had plenty of space and time to control the ball and fire a low shot into the bottom far corner.
Just past the hour mark, Mohammad Helmi Zambin fired in from close range to hand Brunei the lead. The cross from the corner was again not properly cleared and the ball fell to Helmi perfectly to fire into an empty net.
Brunei will get a third at the 70th minute, again due to poor handling of a cross by the defence. Cambodia could not clear a cross properly and it fell perfectly to Azwan Muhammad Salleh who fired into an empty goal.
Cambodia could not muster a decent effort on goal as they looked visibly deflated by the quick turnaround. Brunei threatened to extend the lead but poor finishing meant they were unable to add to their tally.
Deep into injury time Khim Borey managed to reduce the deficit as he headed home from a corner to make it 3-2.
But a dramatic comeback did not materialise for his side and it was Brunei who sealed three points to keep hopes of qualification alive.
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