The Maldives national football team kicked off its AFC Challenge Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Cambodia in Male’ last night.
Cheered on by enthusiastic home support, a goal in the first minute by Muhthar Naseer and a hat-trick by Captain Ali Ashfag sealed the victory, which takes Maldives top of Group C on goal difference.
In the other game in the group, 2006 Champions Tajikistan beat Central Asian neighbour Kyrgyzstan 1-0 courtesy of a late own goal.
The Maldives was chosen by the AFC to host Group C games last month. The next matches will take place on March 23 and 25 at the National Stadium in Male’.
The two teams placed top in the group will qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup in 2012.