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National team held by PKR


Cambodian national team player Khuonla Boravy (right) vies with a Preah Khan Reach during their friendly match at Olympic Stadium. The game ended 0-0.
Cambodia national team head coach Lee Tae Hoon gestures during their friendly match against Preah Khan Reach.
Photos by: Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodia national team head coach Lee Tae Hoon was left bitterly disappointed after his squad put up a disjointed display to record a lacklustre goalless draw in a friendly against Metfone C-League runners up Preah Khan Reach at the Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The South Korean tactician, who took up his new appointment at the end of the league season in August, was not in a mood to hold fire as he summoned the squad after the game and gave them a long and candid debriefing.

“Most of you played like individuals, and in a team game like football it doesn’t help if you are on your own,” Lee told the players through his interpreter.

Decidedly stronger on paper, the national team hardly raised the tempo against a military police side which held its own during a pedestrian first half.

The national side bucked up their efforts in the second session to stumble upon several scoring chances, but a lack of numbers in the box and poor coordination up front prevented them from scoring. The head coach was visibly upset during the the entire match.

“I could see some of you worked very hard but at the end of the day it meant nothing because you couldn’t combine well enough,” he told his men, adding that he did not want a repeat performance in their game against the Police Commissariat side, which kicks off at 3:30pm today at Olympic Stadium.

“There is little time left for us [before the Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos] and we need to put our heads together and think about it,” Lee said.

The coach gave a full game to goalkeeper Ouk Mich, who by keeping a sheet clean perhaps justified the choice. One incident of concern, however, was an injury sustained to the left eyebrow of defender Tieng Tiny.

Laos-bound for qualifiers
After today’s final tune up game, the squad leaves for the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Wednesday ahead of their first Suzuki Cup qualifier against the hosts on Friday. They will also play East Timor and the Phillipines, with the top two teams gaining places in the main competition held in Vietnam and Indonesia in December. Vietnam are reigning champions, while Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand have also already qualified.

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