U23 Azkals end AFC Championship Qualifiers run with loss to Cambodia
Santino Honasan on Apr 01, 2015 11:12 AM
(Photo from www.the-afc.com)
BANGKOK, THAILAND – The Philippine National Under-23 Football team ended their run at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers with a 3-1 loss to Cambodia last Tuesday, March 31.
Midfielder Chan Vathanaka got off to a blazing start for the Cambodian U23 side with a fifth minute strike and then following it up with another conversion just five minutes later to complete a brace within the first ten minutes of action.
In the 16th minute, striker Soeuy Visal sent in the third goal for the Cambodian squad to go into the break with a commanding three-nil advantage.
The U23 Azkals were not able to get anything going up until the final minute, when sub midfielder Fitch Arboleda pulled one back for the Pinoy squad in the first minute of injury time.
While this was already a no-bearing match in terms of qualification for the 2016 AFC U23 Championships since both squads have already been eliminated, Cambodia ends their run on a positive note while the young Azkals will take home with them the experience and the lessons from this international stint.
North Korea tops Group G to Qualify for AFC U23 Championships
In the meeting between the top-two teams in Group G, North Korea held host-nation Thailand to a draw, allowing them to claim the top spot due to goal difference.
Both squads finish the qualifying tournament with a record of two wins and one draw in three games for seven points each, but the North Korean squad advances as the top seed in the group thanks to a two-point margin in goal difference.
Thailand will also qualify as one of the five best runners-up in the Group Stages.
The final pool of participating teams will be determined as soon as Group B (Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan) completes its qualifying tournament.
The 2016 AFC U23 Championship is set to kick off in early January of 2016, with Qatar serving as the host nation.