A stoppage time goal by Reung Bunheing saved the day for Cambodia as Keisuke Honda’s men, in preparations for next month’s AFC Suzuki Cup, salvaged a 2-2 draw in their international friendly with the visiting Timor-Leste at a packed Olympic Stadium on Friday evening.
With Cambodia facing Singapore in another friendly on Tuesday, the game against Timor-Leste presented an ideal stage to size up the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Bunheing’s leveller went on to demonstrate the team’s resolve to fight on despite trailing by a goal for almost the entire second half.
A Jose Almeida header sent Timor-Leste ahead on the half-hour mark, and it required a moment of individual brilliance from Chan Vathanaka to get the Angkor Warriors level.
The star striker found 2017 disappointing on several fronts and an injury added to his list of woes. But on Friday, he produced a gem of a goal to reassure his fans that he will soon be touching his best.
With a solo run that befuddled the Timor-Leste defence, Vathanaka controlled the ball between his right and left before finding the net with a fine finish.
The visitors, though, quickly recovered their poise to take the lead again through Walter Gama.
With near misses from both sides to come, Bunheing’s late goal made the day for the legion of fans who thronged the stadium in their thousands.
Army lift Hun Sen Cup
Ministry of National Defence completed their third triumph in the prestigious Hun Sen Cup after outplaying one-time winners National Police 3-0 at the Olympic Stadium on October 6 as the country went into its annual Pchum Ben break.
On their way to the final, Army edged out newly crowned 2018 Metfone C-League champions NagaWorld.
The Army outfit had beaten their final opponents twice in the just-concluded league season going into the showpiece match.
Defence shot ahead in the 17th minute and changed over with that slender lead. But a determined fightback by Police slowed down the Army advance, though they managed to grab two goals later on to finish the game and take the silverware.
Winners in 2010 and 2016, and runners-up in 2013, Army proved that this year they perhaps had the best squad of local talent in a competition open only to Cambodian players.