Manila: Phnom Penh Crown FC of Cambodia gave their quest for a place in the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals a big boost after defeating Philippines’ Dynamic Herb Cebu FC 3-0 in Group F of the AFC Cup™ 2023/24 on Thursday.
Making their second appearance in the competition, Phnom Penh dominated from the start at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to walk away with a comfortable three points.
Cebu could have gone ahead as early as the seventh minute but Ryoo Togashi's left footed shot flashed just wide of Um Vichet's goal.
Phnom Penh replied with an attempt of their own two minutes later but were left to rue a missed opportunity after Colombian forward Andres Nieto failed to keep his shot down from a well worked corner kick routine.
Nieto continued to be a menace to the hosts, nicely receiving a pass from Yudai Ogawa in the 24th minute but then sending his shot straight to Vichet.
Constant pressure from the visitors finally bore fruit in the 42nd minute, Shintaro Shimizu heading in from Kyaw Soe Moe’s delightful cross to put Phnom Penh ahead.
The 2022 Cambodian Premier League champions extended their lead in the 54th minute, Nieto picking out the run of captain Orn Chanpolin who proceeded to smash the ball into the top corner.
Cebu tried to fight back but Rintaro Hama’s shot going wide in the 65th minute continued the home side’s inability to properly test Vichet.
When Cebu finally registered their first shot on target in the 75th minute through Chima Uzoka, it did not have enough power nor direction to trouble Vichet.
In the end, it was Phnom Penh who added to the score, the industrious Nieto earning his just reward for a fantastic night’s work, scoring with a thunderous shot in the 83rd minute to give his side a deserved win.
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