Cambodia defeated Taiwan 2-0 at home in Phnom Penh last night, with goals in each half, thus winning the two-legged tie 4-2 on aggregate in the qualifying round for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup.
Taiwan, under Japanese head coach Satoshi Imai, elected to go with 4-4-2 formation, with strikers Wu Chun-ching and Tseng Chih-wei up front.
Wu spearheaded several forays in the early going to test Cambodian goalkeeper Sou Yaty, but could not find the net.
In the seventh minute, the hosts opened the scoring on a free-kick, with midfielder Chan Vathanaka floating his cross from the right, and striker Hong Pheng leaping high for a header to score.
In the second half, the referee gave Taiwan ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh a yellow card for upending an opposition player inside the box in the 57th minutes and awarded a penalty-kick to Cambodia.
It was up to midfielder Prak Mony Udom to take the penalty and he blasted high into the back of the net. However, the referee made him retake the penalty, due to players charging early into the box, and Udom went the other way, sending his shot low to the right side and putting the hosts ahead 2-0.
The best chance for Taiwan came in five minutes after the half, when on a free-kick, Taiwan midfielder Lin Chien-hsun, with only the goalkeeper to beat, headed the ball against the post.
Cambodia could have added to their lead on several occasions, and the last chance came with four minutes from time, when striker Chreng Polroth blasted the ball high over the posts in a one-on-one play in front of Taiwan’s goal.
The victory sent the full stadium of more than 50,000 Cambodian fans into celebration, while leaving Taiwan to rue not being able to capitalize on their chances, and Imai still looking for his first win in an international match in his second stint at the helm.
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