The Cambodia Under-23 football team sent out a message on Wednesday that they were not merely making up the numbers in the SEA Games competition, after a dominant 3-1 Group A victory over a 10-man Philippines U-23s at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Goals from captain Prak Mony Udom, Keo Sokpheng and substitute Chan Vathanaka consigned the Philippines to their second consecutive defeat, after they started their campaign with a 1-0 loss against hosts Singapore.
Udom opened the scoring in the 30th minute, as the striker found space in the box and fired his shot past goalkeeper Florencio Badelic with the outside of his right boot.
Sokpheng doubled his side's lead in the 42nd minute after a goal-mouth scramble, tapping the ball into the net after Badelic had parried his initial shot.
Philippines gave themselves a lifeline in the 52nd minute, when Kennedy Uzoka's cross was turned in at close range by Paolo Salenga. However, Vathanaka put the result beyond doubt in the 81st minute when he steered Udom's cross between Badelic's legs to cap an impressive night for the Angkor Warriors.
The Philippines, who had Arnel Amita sent off in second-half stoppage time for a late challenge on Visal Soeuy, could have been on the end of an embarrassing scoreline, if not for some wasteful finishing from the Cambodians, who also had a goal controversially disallowed for offside in the second half.
Cambodia will next face against Indonesia on Saturday, while Philippines will face Myanmar a day later.