National team striker Khuonla Boravy saved his Laos-bound side some blushes with a second-half equaliser that deflected in off a Police Commissary defender during their friendly tune-up match at the rain-hit Olympic Stadium yesterday afternoon. Former Khmera Keila hitman Sophal Odom had fired the recently promoted police outfit to an early lead in the first session.
The game was cut to an hour-long affair after being abandoned midway through the second half, with national team head coach Lee Tae Hoon gesturing to the referee to call off the game after the pitch was soaked by a sudden downpour. Later the coach said it was meaningless to continue the game under such treacherous conditions.
The South Korean tactician added that he was reasonably happy with the result, but admitted his second string lineup up was less than effective.
An early goal line save prevented Sophal Odom’s header from opening the scoring after goal keeper Peng Bunchhay had come off his line. But the Police forward exploited a huge gap in the national side defensive line to come up with a neat finish from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Head coach Lee made several personnel changes, including Ouk Mich for Peng Bunchhay in goal, before Khuonla Boravy's trusty left foot strike rescued the fixture brushing the legs of one of the defenders on the way in.
“I feel the side will perform well in Laos. This result really doesn’t matter,” said Lee.
Police Commissary coach Ung Kanyanith was understandably delighted with the way his players performed, especially in the first half. “We are very happy that we scored first against the national side,” he said.
The national team is scheduled to depart from Phnom Penh airport tomorrow to the Laotian capital of Vientiane for their three Suzuki Cup qualifiers against Laos, East Timor and the Philippines.