Cambodia national team in Male. Maldives, the home nation in this AFC Challenge Cup Group C qualifying match scored in the 1st and the 41st minute to take a 2-nil lead into the half-time interval, in front of 8,000 spectators. From the live commentary on maldivesoccer.com it looked like the Maldives had most of the ball in the 1st 45 minutes, with Khuon Laboravy finally getting Cambodia's first shot on target in the 39th minute. Maldives took the earliest of leads when Mukhuthar Naseer netted in the opening minute from an acute angle. The worst possible start for Cambodia. With the half-time break approaching, the Maldives, through their influential skipper Ali Ashfaq scored their 2nd goal, leaving Cambodia with a mountain to climb. We did a little better in the 2nd half but two more goals from the talismanic Ali Ashfaq, in the 83rd and 87th minutes left Cambodia to lick their wounds after a 4-0 defeat. The starting line-up for Cambodia: Mic, Raksmey, Pancharong, Piseth, Tiny, Sothearath, Sopanha, PM Udom (C Rithy 74), Laboravy (Chhoeurn 45), Nasa (Pheng 44), Sokumpheak. Unused subs: Bunchhay, Rady, S Rithy, Soksana, T Udom, Veasna. The Group C favourites are Tajikistan and they beat arch-rivals and neighbours Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in the earlier kick-off, with an own goal three minutes from time.
Cambodia's South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon admitted his team were well beaten. "The Maldivian side were too good for us. They played superbly today. We have got some very young players and we are gaining experience from these matches. The opponents that we face in these matches are very good and it's a good experience for the players. They would learn from the mistakes they did today and hopefully they would improve in the next game."