Cambodia 1 Timor Leste 5
Yangon: Murilo de Almeida and Adelino Trindade each scored twice and Alan Leandro converted a penalty as Timor Leste began the AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying Round in impressive fashion with a 5-1 hammering of Cambodia on Friday.
Murilo struck twice late in the first half at the Youth Training Centre to set Timor Leste on the way to their first-ever win in the competition as he glanced home a cross by Alan and then finished off a flowing counter-attack on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, Adelino netted twice and Alan fired home from the penalty spot before Keo Sokngon netted a late consolation for Cambodia with another penalty.
The emphatic win for Emerson Alcantara’s side finally put an end to Timor’s winless run in the competition which dated back to their debut in 2004 and featured 14 defeats in 15 matches.
With the game kicking off in the middle of the Yangon afternoon, both teams struggled early on with the hot conditions and did not generate any real chances until the 16th minute when Diogo Ranghel’s cross from the right was headed narrowly wide by Murilo.
Cambodia had trouble coping with the physical play of the Timorese but they began to get their passing game together with their best chance of the half falling to Sun Sopannha, who received a pass from Prak Mony Udom in space 20 metres from goal but fired his effort woefully wide.
Despite enjoying plenty of possession, the Cambodians struggled to generate any other real scoring chances while the Timorese were a constant threat on the counter-attack and they took the lead in the 39th minute when Alan outfoxed Touch Pancharong on the left flank before crossing for Murilo to send a glancing header into the bottom corner of the net.
Alan also played a big part Murilo’s second goal on the stroke of half-time. Receiving the ball in his own half, the giant forward saw Jose Vide in space and lofted a searching ball towards him on the right flank. Vide waited for reinforcements to arrive before squaring the ball for Murilo to drill a low shot past goalkeeper Sou Yaty.
The Cambodians appeared to have no answer to the physical approach of the Timorese and they fell further behind in the 57th minute when Adelino received the ball on the left edge of the box and curled a sweet right-footed shot into the top corner of the net past a hapless Yaty.
Anggisu Barbosa wasted a good opportunity to extend the lead in the 64th minute when his shot off an indirect free-kick awarded inside the Cambodian box sailed well over and Alan also missed the target shortly afterwards with a free-kick from 25 metres.
But a fourth Timorese goal would arrive in the 73rd minute when Diogo cut the ball back from the right byline for an unattended Adelino to drill a hard low shot into the Cambodian net.
With three minutes left, Yaty took out his frustrations by needlessly conceding a penalty by tugging back Murilo and Alan made no mistake from the spot to complete the rout.
In stoppage time, Cambodia were awarded a penalty of their own after Sokngon had been fouled in the box but the striker’s accurate spot kick into the top corner was mere consolation for his well-beaten side.