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U22 Azkals' playoff bid gets boost with Myanmar win vs Cambodia

BINAN, Laguna -- The Philippine under-22 Azkals got some help in their quest to make the semifinals of the Southeast Asian Games men's football tournament after Myanmar struck late to steal a 2-1 win against Cambodia on Monday night at the Biñan Football Stadium.


Although the win gave Myanmar the top seed in Group A, the result meant a lot for the U22 Azkals, who took the bye on Monday, as they will return to action on Wednesday still tied with Cambodia for second place.


Cambodia scored first as Sin Sophanat struck the ball into the goal in the 21st minute, but Lwin Moe Aung forced the halftime deadlock after drilling a goal in the 27th minute.


Aung Kaung Mann won it for Myanmar as keeper Kimhuy Hul failed to completely save his shot in the 86th minute. The ball already sailed into the goal line before Hul tapped it out.


Myanmar, which finished its group stage assignments, will enter the playoffs unbeaten with 10 points in total, while Cambodia stays at four points.


However, Malaysia also joined the logjam between Cambodia and the U22 Azkals with a 4-0 rout of Timor Leste at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila in a simultaneous kickoff.


Filomeno Junior committed a huge blunder in the sixth minute when his clearance went inside Timor Leste's own goal, giving a score to Malaysia.


Hadi Fayyadh then scored a brace in the 34th and the 43rd minutes before Akhyar Rashid sealed the win with an 81st-minute strike.


Cambodia officially stays in second place with the best goal difference at plus-4.


Malaysia jumped to third place with the second-best goal difference at plus-3, leaving the U22 Azkals in fourth with a zero in goal difference.


This means the U22 Azkals must beat Timor Leste by a huge margin on Wednesday back here at the Biñan Football Stadium for them to solidify their semifinal bid.


They can qualify if Cambodia and Malaysia draw at the Rizal Memorial Stadium or if their goal difference will be better than the winner of the Cambodia-Malaysia match. (PNA)

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