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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia face tough group

Cambodia face tough group

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Kyrgyzstan (in white) play Scotland during their opening Group G match of the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris on Sunday. Photo by: ESME DEACON

Kyrgyzstan (in white) play Scotland during their opening Group G match of the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris on Sunday. Photo by: ESME DEACON

Belgium drove home their physical superiority over Cambodia with a 7-2 victory in their Group F match on the opening day of the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris on Sunday.

Asserting their strength on the pitch constructed in Champs de Mars public park, the Belgians drew away from their rivals after Cambodia managed to draw level twice.

Yan Pheara and Rin Rouen were credited with the Cambodian strikes and both declared after the match that they were very proud to have scored for their country.

Cambodia head coach Jimmy Campbell offered an explanation for their loss by email yesterday. “First of all we are in a very tough group. I think the team was nervous as it was their first game and players were overawed,” he said.

“Belgium were physically stronger and more experienced. We did some things well and can improve. Our best player was goalkeeper Noun Oudom.”

Cambodia were involved in two matches against Sweden and South Africa yesterday that were not completed at time of print. They will also face Brazil and Austria in Group F games.

Hosts France kicked off the competition on Sunday in front of a packed crowd with a 8-5 defeat to tournament favourites Portugal.

Meanwhile, Indonesia made their grand debut with a 7-4 win over Romania, although fellow Southeast Asian nation the Philippines lost 6-4 to Slovenia before edging out Ghana 3-2 yesterday.

South Korea and Japan suffered 19-0 and 12-0 losses to Palestine and Argentina respectively and Hong Kong fell 5-3 to Namibia in their opening ties.

The 48 teams competing in the 2011 Homeless World Cup have been split into eight groups of six which play each other once in a round robin format. The 4-a-side matches are seven minutes each half and go to penalties in the result of a tie, according to the official website (http://www.homelessworldcup.org).

The top three teams progress to section 1 of the secondary stage, while the bottom three nations enter section 2. The two sections then divide the teams into groups of six, with the top two of each of the four groups from section 1 advancing to contest for the Homeless World Cup. Teams enter into knockout quarterfinal rounds leading up to the grand final on Sunday.  

The rest of the teams will be bracketed in accordance with their placings from the secondary in stage similar knockout stages for various tired trophies including the Dignitary Cup (9th-16th), the City Cup (17th-24th), the Host Cup (25th-32nd), Community Cup (33rd-40th), INSP Networking Trophy (41st-48th).        

Meanwhile in the 16-team Women’s Homeless World Cup, which is running concurrently at the same venue with the iconic Eiffel Tower as a backdrop, reigning champions Brazil scored a jittery 4-2 victory over continental rivals Argentina. The story would have been completely different for Argentina had they converted two penalties in the closing stages of the game.

Home nation France got off to a flying start with a 7-4 victory over the women from Paraguay on a day when Malawi’s 11-3 victory over Canada marked the biggest winning margin.  ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAN RILEY

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