19 Oct Matao complete AFC Asian Cup bid with playoff round loss
[October 13, 2021 – Manama, Bahrain] Guam’s intent to advance to the Final Qualification Round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ was derailed with an aggregate loss to Cambodia in the tournament’s Playoff Round in Bahrain Tuesday evening.
After Cambodia escaped with a 1-0 win Oct. 9, the Matao needed to win by at least two goals to eliminate its opponent from the continent’s premier men’s tournament. Devan Mendiola netted Guam’s first goal in the 35th minute and the team held on to the 1-0 advantage through to halftime.
Cambodia managed to pick up its pace entering the second half, quickly leveling the match after five minutes on a shot by Sos Suhana.
Keo Sokpheng scored the eventual game winner five minutes later taking advantage of a Guam defensive error to seal his team’s place in the final 24 for the tournament’s Final Qualification Round.
For the first time since April 2015, all three Lee brothers – twins Alexander and Justin and younger brother Nate – started in an international match for Guam.
In the tournament’s other Playoff Round pairing, Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei to advance in the tournament.
Guam’s starting 11 players ahead of its away match against Cambodia in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Playoff Round in Bahrain pose for a group photo. In the photo are, first row from left to right John Matkin, Alex Lee, Marcus Lopez, Devan Mendiola, Justin Lee, and Jonahan Romero. In the back row, from left to right, are Dallas Jaye, Jason Cunliffe, Alec Taitague, Travis Nicklaw, and Nate Lee. Photo by Seth Ysey / FFC