Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hockey team not discouraged by early qualifying losses



Hockey team not discouraged by early qualifying losses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian women hockey players (in blue) try to take the ball from a Hong Kong opponent during their 2022 Asian Games qualifier in Indonesia on June 6. SUPPLIED

Hockey team not discouraged by early qualifying losses

The Cambodian women’s hockey team said their players were not overwhelmed or discouraged following back-to-back losses in the ongoing qualifying tournament in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. The team needs to finish in the top 4 of the seven nations playing, in order to secure a place in the 2022 Asian Games.

Kaing Sothea, head of the Cambodian delegation to the competition, said: “Both the team and the coaching and management staff remain focused and willing to compete. We respect the rules and regulations of the game and will continue to play willingly, despite our poor results in our first two matches.”

As secretary-general of the Cambodian Hockey Federation, Sothea added: “The team is not discouraged at all. We know that we have to play to the best of our abilities and with mastery of our technique – no matter which team we meet. We have to play as many games as possible so we can get an understanding of our own levels, and to learn how we ought to develop our style of play. We also learn what to change and what areas we need to train harder in to correct our mistakes.”

In its opening match of the tournament – on June 6 – the Hong Kong women’s team had the measure of the Kingdom’s women, beating them 5-0. The following day, it was Sri Lanka’s turn to inflict a second defeat on the Cambodian team. Again, the score line was a disappointing 5-0.

These consecutive defeats have all but guaranteed that the Cambodian team will be unable to find a path to a top 4 finish, meaning they are unlikely to appear at this year’s Asian Games, to be held in China.

However, the results reflect impressive growth in the skill levels and professionalism of the sport in the Kingdom. In 2013, Cambodia lost to the women of Hong Kong 14-0 and were absolutely humiliated by Sri Lanka, going down 27-0. In 2016, Sri Lanka were only able to score 13 goals, taking the margin down by half. This year’s 5-0 loss represents a similar narrowing of the margin.

“The Cambodian Hockey Federation never wants to see a loss, but if we consider our previous record against Hong kong, it is clear that our technique and gamesmanship is clearly developing. As our skills improve, so too do our result,” said Sothea, following this year’s loss to Hong Kong.

In the next round, Cambodia will play Kazakhstan on June 9 and Singapore a day later, before taking on Uzbekistan on June 13 and hosts Indonesia in the final match on June 14. Sothea warned that all four of Cambodia’s next opponents are considered favourites to defeat the Kingdom’s women. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Indonesia have all inflicted heavy defeats recently.

However, ahead of the upcoming games, he said: “If we do not try to play to the best of our ability and force the other team to play to their, we will not learn their true strength. Both the coaches and the management team urge our hockey team to give it everything. Let’s find out where our weaknesses and strengths are.”

“Whether we face Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the hosts Indonesia or any other team, we are not afraid or worried, we remain strong and competitive – and committed to testing ourselves against the best,” she added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’