A cheeky free kick goal from the ever impressive Sath Rosib helped Cambodia upset Malaysia 1-0 in their Group B opener of the AFF U-22 Championship 2019 at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium on Monday.
After a goalless first half where Cambodia looked the better side, the Angkor Warriors found the winner in the 62nd minute through a cheeky effort from their right winger Rosib.
Malaysia’s Daniel Haqim was given the marching orders by the referee at the hour-mark for a foul on Orn Chanpolin and from the resulting free kick, the Boeung Ket winger found the opener.
21-year-old Rosib found the Harimau Malaya goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli in an advanced position and produced a lofted free kick from the right wing over the custodian and into the goal!
Malaysia looked to find a way back into the game but with 10 men, they found it hard to break down the Cambodia defence and it was Hadi Fayyadh, the young Malaysian who joined J.League 2 club Fagiano Okayama last December, who came the closest to score when he worked the Cambodia goalkeeper from a very tight angle.
Cambodia were the better team for the majority of the game and should have taken the lead in the first half itself. However, an unmarked Narong Kakada passed on a huge chance to put them ahead in the 36th minute when his header from close range as he headed wide from a delightful cross by Teath Kim Heng.
Kakada had already come close to finding a goal for Cambodia when his volley following a corner had landed on the roof of the goal in the 23rd minute. But with Cambodia failing to convert, the two teams went into the interval goalless. But that was about to change with Rosib’s goal which turned out to be a sucker punch for Malaysia who were without some key players including Safawi Rasid and Akshyar Rashid who were not released by their respective clubs.
With Myanmar and Indonesia playing out a 1-1 draw in the first Group B game, Cambodia went atop the group with three points. Felix Dalmas’ Cambodia will now play Myanmar in their second group game on February 20 while Malaysia face Indonesia in a heavyweight clash.