Cambodia’s head coach Lee Tae Hoon will lead a national football team of 20 players abroad for two international friendlies in the coming days against the Philippines and Singapore, as the two regional rivals enter their own final stretch of preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup kick-starting on November 22.
The Kingdom came a cropper in the qualifiers for this ASEAN showpiece last month in Laos, but the two warm-up games arranged at the behest of both the Philippines and Singapore federations will serve the squad’s own interest as the first phase of its workouts for the ensuing SEA Games, which the city-state will host in June of next year.
Amid mounting frustration over the national squad’s failure to strike anything of note in any of the regional competitions over the past few years, South Korean strategist Lee is ostensibly under a great deal of pressure to produce results.
Before departing to Manila for Friday’s friendly against the Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Lee is understood to have made it plain to his players that these two games were of crucial significance in the country’s first phase of preparations for the SEA Games, where they have often been seen in very poor light.
There have been swirling speculation over Lee’s future with the national team since its disappointing exit from the Suzuki Cup qualifiers, but the Football Federation of Cambodia has expressed its implicit faith in the South Korean, stating categorically that he will guide the country’s football fortunes at the SEA Games.
After the Manila fixture, Cambodia will face Singapore at the Yishun Stadium on Monday, four days after the home team’s tune up game against Laos, who made it to the Suzuki Cup proper as one of the two qualifiers along with Myanmar.
Singapore head coach Bernd Stange, who took over the reins last year, has expressed deep satisfaction that his side had the opportunity to play two friendlies in the lead up to the month end’s regional challenge.
Goalkeepers: Sou Yaty (PP Crown), Sor Sophea (Svay Rieng)
Defenders: Moul Daravorn (SR), Soeuy Visal (SR), Hong Pheng (Crown), Touch Pancharong (Boeung Ket), Rous Sam Oeun (BK), Sok Sovan (BK), Say Piseth (Police)
Midfielders: Chan Vathanaka (BK), Chhin Chhoeurn (MND), Sos Suhana (Crown), Kouch Sokumpheak (Crown), Ngoy Srin (Crown), Prak Mony Udom (SR), Hoy Phallin (SR), Moung Makara (SR)
Forwards: Phoung Soksana (MND), Khoun Laboravy (BK), Sok Chanraksmey (TriAsia)