The Philippines’ semifinal bid was put in peril after conceding a late goal in a 1-0 defeat to host Cambodia Thursday, Feb. 17 in the AFF U-23 Championship at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.
Sin Savannmakara scored the lone goal in the 81st minute as the Cambodians won for the second time in as many matches while handing the Young Azkals their first defeat in the group stage.
Savannmakara fired a left-footed attempt inside the box past Philippine goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad.
With one point through two matches, the Filipino booters’ fortunes are no longer in their hands going into their final Group A match Sunday against Brunei at Prince Stadium in the Cambodian capital.
Coach Stewart Hall’s side must win and hope that Timor-Leste falls short against Cambodia to have a good chance at making the semis as the best second-placed team.
Cambodia leads Group A with six points followed by Timor-Leste, which battled the Philippines to a 2-2 draw Monday, with four points.
The group winners and the best second-placer will make the semis of the age-group competition.
Malaysia and Laos will play just one match in Group B after Indonesia and Myanmar withdrew from the competition due to COVID-19 infections.
Group C has Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, with all three teams playing two matches apiece.