|PPCFC's trio - Thierry, Yaty and Suhana - go through to the semi-finals with Cambodia U-23s - click to enlarge|
Despite a man down, Laos pressed and on the hour, poor control by Sovan allowed the fleet-footed Phoutthasay Khochalern to enter the box, leave Sok Rithy for dead and squeeze his shot inside Yaty's near post. It stunned the large audience into momentary silence. Lee Tae-Hoon's response was to send on Sok Pheng, whilst everyone else was screaming for the introduction of Chan Vathanaka. Moments later Sokngon released Soksana through the middle but his touch deserted him and he rolled his shot agonisingly wide, when it looked easier to score. An injury forced Laos to change their keeper, Vathanaka finally entered the fray for an out-of-sorts Soksana and Cambodia finally found the key to unlock the visitors defence. Thierry threaded a inch-perfect pass through the center to Chhin Chhoeun, who kept his composure to clip the ball past the onrushing keeper for the equaliser on 72 minutes. And that was about it as far as goalmouth action for the rest of the game. Neither team were prepared to bust a gut to go for the winner and Laos went out of the competition with a whimper. Meanwhile, Cambodia go through to meet Thailand, who won both of their group matches, in Friday's semi-final. Malaysia will meet Myanmar in the other semi.
Cambodia U-23s v Laos: Yaty, Pancharong, Samoeun, Sovan, Rithy, Thierry (Sothearath 92), Suhana, PM Udom (Pheng 65), Chhoeun, Soksana (Vathanaka 69), Sokngon. Subs not used: Sophea, Khemarin, Sothearoth, Piseth, Saray, Dara. Bookings: Yaty. MOTM: Thierry - rolled up his sleeves, battled hard and superb pass for equaliser. Goals: Sokngon (47), Chhoeun (72).