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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Crucial mistakes’ blamed for Hong Kong loss

Boeung Ket Angkor striker Chan Vathanaka scored in Cambodia’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Hong Kong last week.
Boeung Ket Angkor striker Chan Vathanaka scored in Cambodia’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Hong Kong last week. Sreng Meng Srun

‘Crucial mistakes’ blamed for Hong Kong loss

Cambodia’s coach Lee Tae Hoon blamed a lack of “cohesion” after Cambodia lost 4-2 to Hong Kong in their friendly at the Mong Kok Stadium on Thursday evening.

“Mistakes at crucial stages have once again cost us. The key is cohesion and our players often drift into spells of anxiety. We had our chances but we did not take them,’’ he said.

However, the South Korean coach added that the experience would stand his charges in good stead when the two sides meet at the Olympic Stadium on October 6.

True to his bold prematch predictions, Hong Kong’s head coach Kim Pang-gon employed various midfield and attacking combinations to outsmart the Angkor Warriors.

Speedy Jaimes McKee was central to Hong Kong’s attacking strategy, and it took 11 minutes for the English-born Hong Kong Pegasus striker to score the opening goal.

Cambodia equalised when Chhreng Polroth found the back of the net in the 20th minute. A defensive lapse led to Hong Kong being awarded a penalty, which was neatly converted by Itaparica just past the half-hour mark.

The 147th-ranked Hong Kong relentlessly pursued more goals and got their third eight minutes before the break through Sandro.

Chan Vathanaka re-ignited Cambodian hopes with a 61st minute strike to keep the visitors in the game, but a 86th-minute goal by Lo Kwan Yee settled the argument in favour of Hong Kong, who celebrated a first win this year after two defeats and a draw.

Hong Kong coach Pang-pon said the scoreline did not truly reflect the tenacious fight that Cambodia put up.

“As I cautioned before the match, our players [did have to] bring out their A-game. I am happy and relieved that we have our first win of the year, and we can look forward with greater assurance to our preparations for the East Asian Games qualifiers and the Asian Cup,’’ he said.

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