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Cambodia brave the rains to win in Poland

The Cambodian squad led by coach Jimmy Campbell  (centre) warms up before their 2013 Homeless World Cup match in Poznan, Poland.
The Cambodian squad led by coach Jimmy Campbell (centre) warms up before their 2013 Homeless World Cup match in Poznan, Poland. WWW.HOMELESSWORLDCUP.ORG

Cambodia brave the rains to win in Poland

The Cambodian team’s first ray of sunshine at the 2013 Homeless World Cup in the Polish city of Poznan came in freak weather conditions as their match against South Korea on Tuesday, which was temporarily abandoned due to a deluge of rain and hail, ended 6-5 in favour of the Kingdom’s men.

According to Hermann and Marisa Schlenker’s match report on the official website (www.homelessworldcup.org), it was the first time in 11 years of competition that play had been suspended because of rain.

The match, played on the west bank of Poznan’s picturesque Lake Malta, was hit by a severe storm to force a five-minute stoppage with Cambodia 1-0 up.

Returning to a slippery and slick surface, the Koreans were spurred on by a vociferous travelling fanbase made up of members of partner organisation Daehoon Kang, but the side went into the break 2-1 down.

Goals continued to leak out for both sides in the second session, with South Korea converting a penalty to tie things up at 3-3. Two quick-fire strikes for Cambodia were in turn cancelled out by goals for Korea, but a late winner by Chey Makara, which completed his hat-trick, sealed their first win of the campaign.

Cambodia went on to lose by a single goal in a fiercely contested battle against the United States in their evening kick-off.

According to Cambodia coach Jimmy Campbell, both teams came out firing from the off with goals flying in at either end. Cambodia keeper Bunlav Chhun made some great saves to keep his side in the game, as they grew in confidence and began to control more of the game.

Cambodia held a 7-6 lead up until the last 30 seconds when the US squeezed in two late strikes to run away with an 8-7 victory.

“I couldn’t have been happier with the players’ attitude in [Tuesday’s] games,” Campbell told the Post by email.

“The team is growing game by game. As the tournament progresses, we seem to be adapting to the conditions and the style of play of our opponents. If they continue with the same attitude, it could bring more success.”

Tuesday’s results left the Kingdom in fifth spot in Group F, one place above table-footers South Korea, who were yet to claim a point.

The group table was topped by reigning champions Chile with an impressive 47 goals amassed during their perfect run of five wins from the group stage.

The secondary phase kicked off its first of three days yesterday, as Cambodia faced Hong Kong in the new Group F bracket. Other opponents in the five-team group include Croatia, Sweden and Slovenia.

Selected games can be viewed on YouTube via the official website.

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