MD1 - Group C: Cambodia 1-1 Hong Kong
Phnom Penh: Cambodia and Hong Kong shared the spoils as they played to a 1-1 draw in their opening Asian Qualifiers tie for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday.
Both sides had targeted a winning start in their Group C tie but cancelled each other out in a match which saw both goals being scored in the first half.
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Felix Dalmas' Cambodia struggled to contain their opponents in the opening minutes as Hong Kong came charging at them and the East Asians early initiative paid off as they found the back of the net in the 13th minute through Tan Chun Lok's spot-kick following a foul by Cambodia's Hoy Phallin.
Mixu Paatelainen's men, however, were unable to build on their advantage as Cambodia fought back to draw level just after the half-hour mark with Sokpheng Keo finding the target in the 34th minute after beating his marker before slipping the ball past Hong Kong custodian Yapp Hung Fai.
Both teams sent on fresh legs in the second half with Cambodia’s Sieng Chanthea coming on for Hoy Phallin, while Hong Kong replaced Sandro with Alex Tayo Akande.
Despite having the backing of a partisan home crowd at the National Olympic Stadium, Cambodia could not break down their Hong Kong counterparts.
Cambodia will host Bahrain next on Tuesday, while Hong Kong will entertain Asia’s No 1 ranked side Islamic Republic on Iran.
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