All the goals came in the first 33 minutes of the match. There was a collective groan from the big crowd as Thailand's youngsters took a 4th minute lead. Thitiphan Puangjan jumped in front of keeper Sou Yaty to reach an inswinging corner to give the visitors an early lead. From another set piece, Cambodia levelled it on 8 minutes. Chin Chhoeurn swung a corner kick to beyond the far post where Sok Sovan was waiting, unmarked, and he bent down to head the ball between the upright and the scrambling goalkeeper. It was a simple effort for the youngster's first goal in senior football, which he celebrated by sinking to his knees and accepting the congratulations of his teammates. Honours even until a stroke of bad luck gifted Thailand their second, and match-winning goal. Chayawat Srinawong ghosted behind the backline and his low cross was deflected by Sok Rithy's outstretched foot, which wrong-footed Yaty and he couldn't keep the ball from rolling over the goal-line. Another large collective groan enveloped the stadium. It was a soft goal to concede especially as Thailand didn't show too much going forward, as they got bogged down in the cloying mud. Laboravy whipped in a free-kick that Thai keeper Watchara Buathong held at the 2nd attempt, but that was about it as far as goalmouth activity in the first half.
Thailand upped their efforts after the break with Yaty going low to collect a Srinawong low drive and Touch Pancharong blocking a goal-bound effort from Perapat Notchaiya. Laboravy demonstrated his frustration with a pointless booking for handball before Cambodia were handed a lifeline by referee Nagor Amir Noor from Malaysia, when he whipped out a second yellow card for a petty offence by Thai's Narakorn Kana and reduced the visitors to ten men for the final twenty minutes. It was the boost Cambodia needed, alongwith the introduction of Keo Sokngorn, but they failed to take advantage. The Cambodia coach refused to amend his gameplan and his team struggled to make any impact until a few minutes from the end. Sovan had a second far post header stopped just shy of the goal-line and with a minute on the clock, Sokngorn sent a fizzing shot inches wide, and with it Cambodia's chances of a positive result. Replacing the ineffectual Phuong Soksana with Sok Pheng in time added on just about summed up Lee Tae-Hoon's tactics, which were badly off the mark in this game.
Cambodian line-up: Yaty, Raksmey, Pancharong, Sovan, Rithy, Phearith, Sothearath, Saray (Sokngorn 66), Chhoeurn (PM Udom 77), Soksana (Pheng 91), Laboravy. Subs not used: Vichet, Rady, Daravorn, Dalin, Souhana, Veasna. Bookings: Pancharong, Sothearath, Laboravy.
Myanmar beat Vietnam in the other semi, 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, so go into Sunday's final against Thailand, whilst Cambodia will lick their wounds and head to the SEA Games, where they will find life considerably tougher.
The Cambodia starting XI who went 2-1 behind after 33 minutes: Back Row LtoR: Laboravy, Sovan, Phearith, Yaty, Soksana, Rithy. Front Row: Chhoeurn, Saray, Pancharong, Raksmey, Sothearath