Phnom Penh: Cambodia have made a winning start to their AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 Group A campaign, defeating the Philippines 3-2 at Morodok Techo National Stadium on Tuesday to pick up just their fifth victory in the history of the tournament.

On an historic night for Cambodian football, it was a brace from veteran Reung Bunheing that both opened and closed the scoring with a further strike from Orn Chanpolin enough to get past a Philippines side that saw goals either side of the break from Kenshiro Daniels give them hope.

In front of a lively home crowd at the newly opened Morodok Techo Stadium, it was all Cambodia in the early stages as Chanpolin unleashed a shot from distance in just the eighth minute that had Kevin Mendoza in the Philippines goal, diving full stretch to parry it away before the lively Sieng Chanthea dragged an effort wide shortly afterwards.

That pressure told as Seut Baraing sent in a cross from the left that Bunheing did well to adjust to and slide home past Mendoza to put the hosts a goal to the good in the 16th minute.

Four minutes later and they’d doubled that lead as Chanpolin – not afraid to have a shot from distance – rifled home an effort from the top of the box that flew in off Mendoza to make it 2-0.

The Philippines were struggling to get a foothold in the match, with their first shot not coming until the 36th minute but five minutes after that they took full advantage of a spilled effort from Cambodian goalkeeper Keo Soksela that fell straight to a grateful Daniels who swept home to reduce things at the break to 2-1.

New Azkals coach Josep Ferre made a double change at the break as he went in search of a more assured approach and it took just ten minutes after the restart for them to draw level as a simple long ball over the top from Amani Aguinaldo released Daniels who raced clear of the home defence and fired home to make it 2-2 in the 55th minute.

Still the goals kept coming as a well-placed cross from the right from Yeu Muslim was met with a smart header into the far corner from Bunheing just prior to the hour to put Cambodia back in front 3-2.

Both keepers then pulled off some fine one-on-one saves, firstly Soksela to deny Stephan Schrock and then Mendoza, with an outstretched leg, to thwart Chanthea.

Once again Soksela had to be alert late on to prevent a swerving corner from Schrock going directly into the goal and with that danger averted it was celebration time for the home fans on a night that will live long in Cambodian football folklore.