Despite being just runner-up in the recently-concluded Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U19 Group G qualifier, Cambodia still has a chance to advance to the championship round, depending on the final outcome of the Group A qualifiers.
Cambodia placed second in Group G with 3-1 win-loss record after beating Brunei 3-0 on Saturday at the National Stadium. Malaysia, meanwhile, automatically advanced to the next round after beating the Thais 1-0 that same day, and securing the first place at the conclusion of the group qualifier.
Thailand bagged the third place, while Brunei and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in Group G.
All the groups, except for Group A, have concluded with results already out. Team ranking is computed based on the number of wins, losses and draws. Three points are added for every win, one for a draw, and zero points for a loss.
Tournament rules provide that the top team from each of the eleven groups automatically advances to the next round, together with the best four runners-up. If Uzbekistan, as hosts of AFC U19 Championship, wins Group F or is among the four best runners-up, the fifth best runner-up also qualifies for the final tournament.
The countries that qualified for the next round are Uzbekistan (hosts), Qatar (Group B winners), Tajikistan (Group C), Iran (Group D), Bahrain (Group E), Saudi Arabia (Group F), Malaysia (Group G), Australia (Group H), South Korea (Group I), Japan (Group J), and Indonesia (Group K).
Laos, Vietnam, and Yemen also qualified for the championship as the top three runners-up. The fourth and last runner-up slot is still unoccupied, meaning Cambodia, which is in fifth place among the runners-up with six points, will have to wait for the results of the Group A qualifiers before they knew whether they qualify or not.
“Cambodia U19 is temporarily standing in fifth place for the top four runners-up that will go to the next round. Now waiting for the results of second-placed team in Group A,” the Cambodia Football Federation (CFF) said on its Facebook page.
Cambodia will not know whether they qualify or not until the end of this month. The Group A qualifiers will be held on Nov 22-30 in Oman. The Group A qualifiers pit U19 football teams from Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait, and Pakistan.
The 2020 AFC U19 Championship will be held in Uzbekistan in October next year.