SINGAPORE - V. Selvaraj's Singapore's Under-15 football team ended their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Championship qualifiers on a high after defeating their Cambodian counterparts 3-1 on Sunday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.
After failing to score in their first two matches in the defeats by Thailand (5-0) and North Korea (3-0), the Singapore boys finally found their scoring touch.
But it was Cambodia who struck first in the 47th minute through striker Sieng Chanthea.
The hosts fought back and levelled through striker Glenn Kweh (68th minute) before further goals from winger Khairul Abdul Hamid (80th minute) and midfielder Irfan Jeferee (87th minute) helped Singapore to finish third in qualifying Group H, while Cambodia finished bottom of the group.
Selvaraj praised his players for not giving up, saying: "I commend the team's winning mentality. They were very determined and wanted to fight for everything. The strong desire to win sent the message to their body to move and to run.
"It's not easy to come back after two losses. Usually, young boys will crack. So the credit goes to them, they were strong and never gave up."
Meanwhile, North Korea clinched their spot in the AFC U-16 finals held in India next September after beating nine-men Thailand 2-0 in the other Group H match.
North Korea's head coach Kim Yong Hun said: "We are satisfied with the boys' performance today, but we have to prepare much better for the main competition."