Qualifiers - Group G: Winning starts for Malaysia, Brunei DS
Phnom Penh: Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia got their AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 qualifying campaigns off to winning starts in Group G on Saturday.
Malaysia, reduced to nine players by the 59th minute, survived a late Cambodian revival to win 5-4, while Brunei saw off a spirited Northern Mariana Islands 4-3 at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.
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Cambodia 4-5 Malaysia
Cambodia, seeking a first appearance at the Finals since 1974, began brightly but Malaysia took control as the first half progressed.
Malaysia took the lead at the half-hour mark through Shafi Azswad and with their morale boosted, Fakrul Iman doubled their advantage 10 minutes later, before Azrin Afiq ensured Brad Maloney's side a 3-0 lead heading into the break.
Malaysia started the second half looking comfortable but that changed when Muhammad Mukhairi Ajmal was sent off in the 58th minute, followed by Ahmad Zikri Khalili seconds later.
Cambodia took full advantage, pulling one back through Met Samel in the 61st minute with Chea Sokmeng further reducing the deficit four minutes later.
GALERI: Sekitar aksi sulung Kelayakan Kejuaraan B-19 AFC 2020 antara skuad B-18 kebangsaan dan Kemboja di Stadium Olimpik Nasional, Phnom Penh, Kemboja hari ini.— FA Malaysia (@FAM_Malaysia) November 2, 2019
Galeri penuh di https://t.co/Y8mIAc7HOU#FAM #HarimauMalaya #AFCU19Q pic.twitter.com/xMJMNVhsTN
Malaysia's response was almost immediate as Luqman Hakim scored with a lob from just past the centre circle in the 67th minute and Muslihuddin Atiq then restored Malaysia's three-goal advantage in the 74th minute.
Cambodia, however, fought back with Sieng Chanthea scoring in the 77th minute.
Ly Mael ensured an exciting finish with Cambodia's fourth a minute from the end of regulation time but Malaysia dug deep to clinch the three points.
Northern Mariana Islands 3-4 Brunei Darussalam
Brunei Darussalam took the lead in the 12th minute through midfielder Mohammad Eddy Shahrol, only to see Northern Mariana Islands draw level after Muhammad Khoirunnaas Khalid put the ball into his own net in the 32nd minute.
Forward Mohammad Aminuddin restored Brunei Darussalam's advantage in the 40th minute but it was a lead that lasted only briefly as Northern Mariana Islands drew level through captain Sunjoon Perry Tenorio two minutes later.
Brunei Darussalam continued to set the pace in the second half but had to wait till the 69th minute to regain the lead, with Mohammad Hadif Aiman slotting the ball home.
Midfielder Naqiuddin Abdullah then looked to have sealed the points with his effort just before the 90th minute mark.
Tenorio, however, pulled one back in the first minute of added time but Brunei Darussalam held on for the three points.
Brunei Darussalam play Thailand on Monday while Northern Mariana Islands will take on hosts Cambodia.
The 11 group winners and four best runners-up will join hosts Uzbekistan in the 2020 Finals.
Tajikistan have already qualified as Group C winners and should Uzbekistan finish either top of Group F of the Qualifiers or are among the best four second-placed teams, the fifth best runners-up will qualify.
Group A of the Qualifiers - featuring Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait and Pakistan - has been postponed with new dates to be announced in due course.
Photos: Football Federation of Cambodia
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