Cambodia finished their AFF Under-22 LG Cup campaign on a disappointing note suffering a painful late defeat to Vietnam in their third-place playoff at the Olympic Stadium yesterday afternoon.
In the competition final played yesterday evening at the same venue, Indonesia came from behind to strike down defending champions Thailand 2-1 to claim the championship through a 71st minute winner from Sani Riski.
After hurtling out at the semi-final stage, Cambodia and Vietnam met yesterday to hash out who would be crowned the third best team at the championships.
However, Cambodia conceded in normal time when Vietnam broke the deadlock in the 86th minute of the game. Xuan Tu Le, 19, got his head to a pinpoint cross to flick his header into the back of the net for the match winner.
While Cambodia attempted a quick counter after the restart, Vietnam goalkeeper Y Eli Nie made a tremendous stop in injury time to ensure the Golden Dragons wrapped up third-place with the 1-0 win at the Olympic Stadium.
While senior national team general manager Keisuke Honda could not be present due to his playing duties in Melbourne, current coach Felix Agustin Dalmas passed on a message to the youngsters from the former Japan international.
“Honda has sent a message to the Under-22s. And since the start of the Cup his message is no different from mine. We both encourage our players not to give up, “ explained the Argentinian tactician.
“Our focus should be on team progress rather than just results. We have to keep doing the best for the future,” he added.
Among the participants for the AFF Under-22 LG Cup were players under the age of 22 from countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and hosts Cambodia.