Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia slope out of SEA Games after group gagging




Cambodia slope out of SEA Games after group gagging

Cambodia slope out of SEA Games after group gagging

Cambodia coach Lee Tae-Hoon
Cambodia coach Lee Tae-Hoon may face the chop when he returns to Phnom Penh this week after a disappointing SEA Games campaign in which they failed to make a point.

Three consecutive defeats in Jakarta last week meant Cambodia already knew they were the first side to be eliminated from the men’s football tournament at the 26th SEA Games going into yesterday’s Group A encounter with Malaysia. A 4-1 defeat by the defending champions at the Gelong Bung Larno Stadium saw Lee Tae-Hoon’s side return home with their tails between their legs having conceded 16 goals with just two in reply.

Chhin Chhoeun, who scored a wondrous goal against Singapore last Wednesday, doubled his tally in Jakarta with a 61st minute strike yesterday after Malaysia had finished the first half 3-0 up.

Despite the heroics from the National Defence Ministry right winger, some all too common defensive frailties allowed Malaysia to add a fourth in injury time.

On Friday, regional powerhouses Thailand had recorded a comfortable 4-0 victory over Cambodia, who were without skipper Khuon Laboravy and inspirational keeper Sou Yaty due to injuries, while central midfielder Chhun Sothearath was suspended.

The Thais showed no mercy to their neighbours, edging 1-0 ahead 1-0 in the first session before netting three more in the last 20 minutes.

Of the few positives to take back from the SEA Games, Chhin Chhoeun should feel proud of his scores while stoppers Sou Yaty and Friday’s replacement Um Vichet both made fine contributions between the sticks.

Meanwhile, South Korean coach Lee faces the gauntlet back at home with many Cambodian football fans calling for his resignation through social media websites. However, Lee told official ASEAN football website after the match against Thailand that Cambodia had little expectations from such a tough group.

“We were given some hard lessons but I think that it is important we take these lessons to better prepare us for the future” he said.

“We have some players with experience of having played international matches before but for most, they are still young and they did not have the exposure at this level. The campaign was not a total loss. The players have been learning from game to game, and I think that they are better players as compared to when they first came to Jakarta.

“I believe that this team can only get stronger and they will definitely be better at the next SEA Games in 2013 [in Naypyidaw, Myanmar],” he added.

Cambodia may, however, take some comfort in the fact that yesterday’s other Group A game ensured their bitter rivals Thailand also failed to make the knockout stage. The 13-time SEA Games champions, who ended the tempestuous match with nine men, were beaten 3-1 by Indonesia, a result which secured the hosts safe passage to the semifinals and condemned Thailand to a second early elimination in as many tournaments.

The runners-up spot in Group A seems likely to be taken by Malaysia, who face Indonesia in the concluding group fixture on Thursday, while Singapore require a resounding victory over Thailand and hope the hosts can do them a favour by beating the holders.

In Group B ties played at Lebak Bulus stadium yesterday, Myanmar ensured their advance to the semis with a 5-0 thumping of the Philippines. Vietnam will join them in the next round after an 8-0 rout of Brunei.

Surprise package East Timor saw their hopes of qualifying vanish via a 3-0 defeat to Laos yesterday, rendering subsequent Group B games tomorrow and Thursday academic. 

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAN RILEY

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped