Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Afghans down Warriors 2-1 as Asian Cup campaign ends




Afghans down Warriors 2-1 as Asian Cup campaign ends

Cambodia’s Prak Mony Udom rides an Afghan tackle in the two sides’ previous meeting at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium in June.
Cambodia’s Prak Mony Udom rides an Afghan tackle in the two sides’ previous meeting at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium in June.

Afghans down Warriors 2-1 as Asian Cup campaign ends

The Cambodian senior team’s year-long campaign in the third round of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers ended on Tuesday night when the Angkor Warriors fell 2-1 to Afghanistan to wrap up their Group C matches.

The victory at the neutral venue of the Pamir Stadium in Tajikistan capital Dushambe came as revenge for the Afghans after their 1-0 loss at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium in June.

Making no difference to qualifying from the group as Jordan and Vietnam had pulled themselves far away, this match from the start was all about pride.

The robust and physically superior Afghanistan, who have been forced to play all their away matches in a third country due to the turmoil in their own, had the final say in the best possible fashion,

Afghanistan’s only victory on top of three draws and two defeats left them a distant third with six points behind Jordan, who topped the table with 12 points to Vietnam’s 10 after the two sides battled to a 1-1 draw in Amman on the same night.

Cambodia, with three points after the victory over Afghanistan, brought up the rear of the four-team group.

Laboravy gives Warriors hope

The coach responsible for Cambodia’s first foray into this level of competition, South Korean Lee Tae Hoon made way for Brazilian Leonardo Vittorino, under whose watch the Kingdom began the group stage with a 7-0 drubbing by Jordan in Amman.

The beleaguered Brazilian, whose only high point during a brief but disappointing stint was that 1-0 win over Afghanistan, had left by the time Jordan came to Phnom Penh for the return clash.

The Football Federation of Cambodia recalled veteran coach Prak Sovannara for a third term to revive the side, and he ended up inspiring the team to an improved performance against the Jordanians, who eventually squeezed out a 1-0 win.

Entrusted once again with the task of completing the qualifying campaign, Sovannara picked a squad that included four star players who are currently pursuing their league careers in the Malaysian top flight.

On Tuesday night, the Afghans proved hard to handle after they took a 2-0 first-half lead.

But within six minutes of coming off the bench as a replacement for Sos Suhana just past the hour mark, seasoned forward Khoun Laboravy gave the Angkor Warriors a flicker of hope with a tidy finish off a Prak Mony Udom corner.

Positives for Sovannara

However, the visitors could make no further headway in the crucial run home.

Chiang Mai FC midfielder Mustafa Azadzoy opened the scoring for Afghanistan in the 26th minute, getting on the end of a right wing cross.

The Afghans doubled the lead a minute before the break after Cambodia lost the ball in their own area, with Jabar Sharza the danger man, the 23-year-old forward doubling the Khurasan Lions’ lead with a strong left footed finish.

Sovannara brought on Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng midfielder Hoy Phalin fairly early in the game and gave promising Boeung Ket defender Sath Rosib some vital playing time towards the end.

Despite the narrow defeat, Sovannara still has a lot of positives to bring home as he turns his focus to the Kingdom’s colts taking a shot at the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy under-21 tournament in Brunei in April that involves Asean member nations.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from