Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - BIDC Cup raises curtain

BIDC Cup raises curtain

Cambodia’s Prak Mony Udom (left) vies with an Malaysian opponent during their U23 game at Olympic Stadium on March 6
Cambodia’s Prak Mony Udom (left) vies with an Malaysian opponent during their U23 game at Olympic Stadium on March 6. SRENG MENG SRUN

BIDC Cup raises curtain

Cambodian football faces a trial of strength in the run-up to December’s SEA Games when the curtain goes up on the 2013 Mekong Region Youth (U23) Tournament for the BIDC Cup at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

Vietnam and Myanmar, both of whom have chosen to field U22 sides, will kick off the Group A opener at 2pm followed by a Group B game at 4pm involving Cambodia and Laos.

An official draw held last week bracketed Vietnam with Myanmar and Thailand in Group A while Group B clustered Cambodia with Laos and Malaysia.

Cambodia, under South Korean Lee Tae Hoon’s second term as head coach, will be eager to paint a positive picture after nearly two years of disappointing results on the pitch.

They were winners of the inaugural edition of the BIDC Cup back in 2009. Myanmar beat Thailand 2-1 in extra time of the final in the 2011 edition.

But for one shining victory over a Malaysian U23 side, Cambodian football has had a rough passage with Lee’s return preceded by the exit in quick succession of two Cambodian coaches – Hok Sochetra and Prak Sovannara.

Those two changes and Lee’s recall indicating clearly the turmoil within and the team’s shaken confidence and resolve.

While the South Korean strategist is not without his critics, he has his own way of dealing with this crisis of confidence.

“I am determined to bring in attitudinal changes in some players,” the national coach told the Post.

“This is a very good window of opportunity to turn things around. I want the players to play a lot harder than they have been doing.

“Every game is important, so it doesn’t really matter which group you are in. I feel the team balance is good and we can work out some good combinations depending on the situations.”

The timing of this event is near perfect for all the contestants as a dry run for the SEA Games. There is a rest day after every set of games with the final slated for November 10.

The tournament is sponsored by BIDC, a Cambodian based subsidiary of Vietnamese Bank BIDV, which has pitched in $220,000 towards the running costs.

Cambodia’s BIDC Cup Squad

Goalkeepers
Samrith Seiha (Naga Corp), Aim Sovannarath (Svay Rieng), Sar Sophea (Svay Rieng)

Defenders
Nhem Sovannara (Kirivong SSC), Sok Rithy (Naga Corp), Nen Sothearoth (Svay Rieng), Touch Pancharong (Boeung Ket), Khiev Vibol (Boeung Ket), Sok Sovan (Boeung Ket), Keo Sokpheng (Boeung Ket)

Midfielders
Tum Saray (Svay Rieng), Prak Mony Udom (Svay Rieng), Chhun Sothearath (Boeung Ket), Chan Vathanaka (Boeung Ket)

Forwards
Keo Sokngorn (Boeung Ket), Ros Sam Oeurn (Boeung Ket), Sos Souhana (PP Crown), Bin Chantha Thierry (PP Crown)

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty