|Photo by Kuala Lumpur 2017|
MANILA -- The Philippines earn a hard-fought 2-0 win over Cambodia to start off their SEA Games campaign in Selayang Stadium
Marlon Maro's men looked to get even at their opponents when they lost 1-0. AFC U-23 qualifiers in Phnom Penh last July 23.
Early on, it was a hard fought match. The Philippines played a high pressured defense against Cambodia.
The Young Angkor Warriors almost took the lead in the 11th minute but it was saved by the RJ Joyel as both sides enter the changing room with a goalless standoff.
Entering the restart, it took just less than a minute to tilt the Group B tie in their favor, when Davao's Dylan De Bruycker bombs his rebound over after a blitzing run by Koichi Belgira got him charged down inside the box
Their persistence bore fruit in the 52nd minute, when FEU's Raymart Cubon headed the ball home off off a corner by Jarvey Gayoso.
Cambodia tried to find the equalizer but the Philippines’ defense was disciplined all throughout.
In the 82nd minute, the Marikina left-back gave the Young Azkals its first win against their victims in the SEA Games level since 2005 with a well taken free kick as the Cambodian wall were caught watching on the the Ateneo sophomore.
Cambodia's day went from bad to worse as they were down to ten men after Choum Pisa was sent off when he punched Daniel Gadia in the face inside of their box.
The result was not decided until the final moments, as Cambodia were denied by the left post in the dying seconds.
With the huge win, the Young Azkals now hold second spot in their group behind Vietnam who thrashed East Timor for 4-0, after defending SEAG champs Thailand could only muster a 1-1 draw with Indonesia.