Visiting Hong Kong dealt Cambodia another decisive blow with a 2-0 win over the home side in a rain-hit international friendly at the Olympic Stadium yesterday evening, following up on the 4-2 win in their first encounter early last month.
A steady evening drizzle failed to dampen the enthusiasm of a big crowd, which sat through Hong Kong’s total domination despite testing conditions.
Both the Hong Kong goals came in the first half, during which all Cambodia could come up with were two Prak Mony Odom free kicks that caused the visitors only mild concern.
Coach Lee Tae Hoon chose an experimental starting line-up and brought on the experienced Khun Laboravy and nimble footed Chan Vathanaka nearing the hour mark. The duo did expand the attacking options but were unable to get the break the side was desperately looking for.
It was Brazilian-born Alessandro Ferreira Leonardo, nicknamed Sandro, who nodded the ball in off a corner that was touched on to him by a teammate attempting a header himself.
Moments before this eighth minute setback, Cambodian goalkeeper Oum Sereyrath and Hong Kong forward Alex Akande had collided with each other inside the box.
Just past the half-hour mark the Nigerian-born Akande doubled the lead with a powerful left foot shot from the edge of the box after being put through by defender Andy Russell.
Hong Kong went into the break with a healthy 2-0 cushion and were content to ride that advantage home, though they did create a couple of chances while keeping their own end safe.
Hong Kong play home friendlies against Singapore on October 11 and Chinese Taipei on November 7 before taking on Guam in the opening game of the East Asian Cup second preliminary round on November 10.
Cambodia will face Laos on October 15 at the Olympic Stadium in their opening game of the four-team Suzuki Cup qualifiers. The other two teams in contention for the lone spot in the regional showpiece to be staged in Myanmar next month are Timor Leste and Brunei.