YANGON (AFC) - Cambodia and Myanmar were the only two ASEAN teams to begin their campaign on the right note on the first match day of the qualifying round of the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup on Saturday.
Host Myanmar, playing in Group G, thrashed the Philippines 5-1 in Yangon as Cambodia playing in Group F in Vientiane scored a 3-2 win over Hong Kong.
In Yangon, hosts Myanmar got the start they wanted when they came back from a goal down to beat the Philippines 5-1 in front of a crowd of well over 18,000 at the Youth Training Centre.
Jeffrey Mallen Christiaens had given the Philippines the best of start when he converted a penalty just five minutes into the tie. But it was obvious that they could not fend off the incessant onslaught from the home team as Kyaw Ko Ko (41st and 45th minute) and Kyaw Zayar Win (28th and 75th minute) were on target with a brace each as Yan Aung Win (62nd) scored the other goal for the first three points for the homesters.
In the other match, Malaysia fell to a 3-2 loss to South Korea with the latter scoring all their goals in the first half of the game off Kim Hyun Hun in the 13th minute, Pak Kwangil in the 32nd minute and Jeong Jong Hee in the 34th minute.
The Malaysians were on target through A. Thamil Arasu’s double in the 8th and 62nd minute.
It was not only Malaysia who suffered heartbreak tonight where Vietnam were also at the wrong end of the pitch when they fell to a 2-1 loss to Chinese Taipei.
Mac Hong Guan had given Vietnam the lead on 13th minute but that failed to dampen Chinese Taipei when they fought back with two goals in the second half off Lin Chien-Hsun in the 46th minute and Wen Chih Hao in the 53rd minute.
In Vientiane, in the match that was played at the Chao Anouvong Stadium, Sos Suhana opened account for Cambodia with the lead on ten minute. But Hong Kong tightened up their game soon afterwards for the score to remain at 1-0 to Cambodia’s advantage.
But Hong Kong fought back with the equaliser just five minutes into the second half through Yuen Tsun Nam before the Cambodians nailed two further goals off Phourng Souksana (63rd minute) and Nen Sothearoth (70th minute) to restore their advantage.
With the score at 3-1 to Cambodia, Hong Kong managed to pull in a late goal deep in injury time through Tsang Kin Fong for the final score line.
While Cambodia jubilated, it was misery for hosts Laos when they fell to a 2-0 loss to China – with goals off Yang Yihu in the 11th minute and Bi Jin Hao in the 39th minute.
Thailand also fared no better when they failed to get the better of DPR Korea following a 4-2 defeat. DPR Korea had taken the lead through Pak Song Chol in the 26th minute and then Jong Il Gwan in the 45th minute.
And while Thailand managed to pull a goal back off Adisak Kraisorn just two minutes after the restart, DPR Korea then restored their two-goal advantage through Kim Jin Hyok in the 50th minutes of play. Nine minutes later, Thailand were faced with a mountain to climb when Han Song Hyok blasted in their fourth goal of the game.
An own goal in the 62nd minute off DPR Korean midfielder Mun Hyok gave Thailand the chance for a fight back but they just could not make it count in the closing stages of the match.