Qualifiers - Group G: Thailand impress, Cambodia bounce back
Phnom Penh: Thailand got their AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 qualifying campaign off to a resounding start while hosts Cambodia revived their hopes in Group G action at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Monday.
Thailand were simply unstoppable as they registered a 9-0 win over Brunei Darussalam while Cambodia, defeated 5-4 by Malaysia on Matchday One, also beat Northern Mariana Islands 9-0.
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Brunei Darussalam 0-9 Thailand
Brunei Darussalam, having defeated Northern Mariana Islands 4-3 in their opening clash on Saturday, would have taken to the pitch with confidence but Thailand exerted their supremacy from almost the first blow of the whistle.
It didn't take long for Ithsara Sritharo's men to take the lead as forward Suphanat Mueanta put them ahead with just two minutes on the clock.
Mueanta would turn out to be Brunei Darussalam's chief tormentor as he added further goals to his tally in the 15th, 43rd and 57th minutes.
Five other players also got into the scoring act as Thailand showed their potency with Waragon Thongbai (29th), Jakkrapong Sanmahuang (36th), Kittiphong Khetpara (48th), Airfan Doloh (84th) and Purachet Todsanit (90+4) all finding the back of the net.
Thailand will play Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday, with Brunei Darussalam facing Malaysia.
Northern Mariana Islands 0-9 Cambodia
Cambodia took control from the first blow of the referee's whistle and only had to wait till the seventh minute for their opening goal, with forward Thy Lieng providing the finishing touch.
With their nerves settled, Cambodia played with more freedom and widened their lead five minutes later with Ly Mael finishing off another attack for the hosts.
Northern Mariana Islands, beaten 4-3 by Brunei Darussalam on Saturday, tightened their defence and held Cambodia at bay after that but a lapse in concentration cost them dearly just before the half-time break.
It started with Thy Lieng scoring his second of the night and before Northern Mariana Islands could recover, they found themselves 6-0 down before the break.
Lim Pisoth scored in the 44th minute and followed up with his second in the first minute of stoppage time but Cambodia were not done as Wut Tola added another goal just before the half-time whistle was blown.
Northern Mariana Islands looked to have weathered the storm in the second half but that changed when Sieng Chanthea came on in the 81st minute.
The forward had a devastating effect, notching a hat-trick with efforts in the 83rd, 88th (penalty) and the second minute of added time as Cambodia reignited their hopes of making the 2020 Finals.
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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