Cambodia and Laos put their floodlit international football friendly to good purpose on Tuesday evening and were more than content with the 1-1 outcome at the Olympic Stadium where a modest crowd rooted for the home team paying no heed to a spell of rain in the early stages of the game.
Although Cambodia showed greater zest in creating chances up front in the first half than the visitors, they had nothing much to show for, except a goal they claimed as early as the 20th minute having been shot down by the referee for offside.
Striker Khuon Laboravy brightened up the proceedings with some tidy work in the box after latching on to a fancy pass, converting it efficiently into Cambodia’s first goal.
The response from coach Steve Darby’s men was swift and decisive as midfielder Sangvone Phimmasen nodded home the equaliser four minutes later.
Both coaches used the crucial tune-up game for sizing up options and testing out key players and those on the fringe to wrap their heads around the best possible selections they could make for the tough world cup qualifying campaigns beginning in little more than a week.
“We had a lot of positives to take away from this game but there were also some areas of concern that need to be addressed in the coming days,” Laos coach Steve Darby said after the game.
The Englishman’s sentiments were more or less echoed by Cambodia’s head coach Kazunori Ohara, who felt that the lively spirit in his squad is something that can be turned into positive energy on the pitch.
“The result doesn’t matter as much as the importance of analysing how it was reached and what we did right and where we went wrong,” said the Japanese coach who has been entrusted with the task of guiding Cambodia in the home matches against Singapore on June 11 and Afghanistan on June 16,
Cambodia will take on Myanmar in another international friendly in Bangkok tomorrow, as the squad’s final competitive fling before the much anticipated clash with the Singapore Lions on June 11.