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SEAG '23: Timor-Leste upsets U-23 Azkals with 3-0 beatdown

Philippine Football Federation

 by Drew Malihan

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Football minnows Timor-Leste finally punched above their weight as they claimed their first win in the football tournament in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games with a 3-0 humiliation of the Philippines inside the Olympic Stadium on Thursday.

It was a continiuation of a rather dismal campaign for the Young Azkals as they already suffered a 3-0 defeat to Indonesia and escaped a point against hosts Cambodia in a 1-1 draw.

The Rob Gier-led side never recovered from an early deficit as a vastly improved Timorese side scored 14 minutes into the game thanks to senior team regular Mouzinho's conversion of a Jhon Frith pass that went past Quuincy Kammeraad's guard.

Things went from bad to worse as Dennis Chung, who scored against the same team in the last SEA Games in Vietnam, was sent off after getting a straight red card after getting serious contacxt with Joao Halle in the 27th minute.

The score was preserved until Luis Figo Ribeiro doubled the lead for the Timorese side in the 55th minute, while another senior team regular in Elias Mesquita put the final nail in the coffin in the 89th minute.

The victory was the under-23 Timorese side's first SEA Games victory against the Philippines, the last of which was in Jakarta in 2011 in a 2-1 outing.

With only a draw and two losses in the Young Azkals' bag, they are stuck dead last in the Group A table with only a point, while Timor-Leste jumped to third with a 1-0-2 record and three points in their name.

The young Azkals will take a break in the May 7 matchday, and then face Myanmar in the 10th to end their campaign.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner

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