A brace from Chan Vathanaka helped Cambodia to their first win at the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup as they saw off Laos 3-0 at Bishan Stadium on Wednesday.

The Koupreys star man scored twice in the first half to set them on their way before Sieng Chanthea rounded out the win late in the second half.

Coach Ryu Hirose praised the victory as one that is another step forward in the evolution of his team.

“I’m very pleased for the win and this was another match where we could keep possession, we also scored some good goals and kept a clean sheet.

“We want to keep connecting possession with scoring goals and play a high line regardless of the opposition and we will continue to do this in our final match against Vietnam.”

A tightly fought opening half saw Cambodia have the best of the early chances as a mistake in the Laos backline handed possession to Lim Pisoth inside their box with the winger seeing his well-struck effort tipped onto the bar by Solasak Thilavong in the 10th minute.

From the resulting corner they had another half chance to go ahead with an outstretched Tes Sambath unable to make contact, as was the case with Vathanaka midway through the half.

It was though Cambodian’s star man that eventually made the breakthrough as Chanthea played him through – off a Laos defender - with Vathanaka dancing around a couple of challenges and slotting home to make it 1-0 in the 31st minute.

After Chreng Polroth had blazed wide from distance ten minutes later it was Vathanaka that grabbed a second as he rose to head home a Kouch Sokumpheak cross from the left under little pressure in the 41st minute to send Cambodia to the break with a handy two-goal lead.

Vathanaka was denied his hattrick as Solasak did well to push away his 57th minute effort before he flashed another well struck shot wide of the target on the hour.

Laos also tried their luck from distance shortly after via Soeuy Visal with his effort saved comfortably by Keo Soksela in the Cambodian goal before Ean Pisey played a delightful ball through to Chanthea who finished calmly to make it 3-0 with just over a quarter of an hour remaining.

The best of the late chances saw Chanthea cut back inside and send a curling effort wide of the target in the 83rd minute and Laos midfielder Bounphachan Bounkong have his stoppage time effort pushed wide as time wound down on the Cambodian win.

For Laos, their campaign ends with a fourth straight defeat and just the lone goal scored although coach V. Selvaraj said that he knew the tournament was always going to be about performance rather than results.

“We came here with not much hope with no international friendlies and were unlucky to be drawn in this group with three top teams.

“I don’t want to put pressure on my players in terms of results but as the tournament went on I wanted to give more younger players a chance to play and get them experience and show them that this is the level that we are up against for the future.”