Phnom Penh: Cambodia will look to keep their hopes of advancing to the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 semi-finals alive when they take on Brunei Darussalam at Morodok Techo National Stadium on Thursday.

The Koupreys began their Group A campaign with a 3-2 victory over the Philippines in the Cambodian capital on Matchday One as they claimed what was only their fifth win in the competition’s history.

Ryu Hirose’s side then put in a resilient showing in a 2-1 loss to Indonesia in Jakarta on Friday in a game that saw Saret Krya draw the visitors level in the first half before they ultimately fell to a narrow defeat.

But the game was yet further evidence of Cambodia’s continued improvement under the tutelage of Japanese tactician Hirose and his countryman Keisuke Honda, who has been the general manager since 2018.

Indeed, three of their five victories over the years at the AFF Championship have come with either Honda, Hirose or both on the sidelines and they will be targeting another piece of history ahead of the visit of Brunei DS.

Should they win, Cambodia would pick up two victories in a single campaign for the first time ever, while even a draw at their new national stadium would ensure a record points tally.

More importantly, however, is victory would see them go into their final group game, away to Thailand, with a chance of progressing to the semi-finals for the first time in what would be regarded as one of the biggest shocks since the AFF Championship was launched in 1996.

Brunei DS, meanwhile, are making their first appearance in the competition since that 1996 edition and, after three defeats on the bounce, will bring the curtain down on their campaign in Phnom Penh.

Mario Rivera’s side have had a tough time to date, losing 5-0 to defending champions Thailand and 5-1 against the Philippines in their opening two games.

They were, however, putting on a strong showing against Indonesia in their last outing, trailing by just a solitary goal and having sights on goal themselves until Alinur Rashimy Jufri was dismissed seven minutes before the interval.

The floodgates then opened as Indonesia ran out 7-0 winners but the first half will have offered head coach Rivera plenty of hope that his side are capable of getting a positive result in Cambodia.

While the teams have never previously met in the competition proper, they have faced off five times in the qualification round, with Cambodia winning three, Brunei DS one and the other game ending in a draw.