Cambodia’s Korean coach Lee Tae Hoon (right) got his tactics spot on last night as the Kingdom progressed to the next stage of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a deserved 1-1 draw in Macau to record a 4-1 agggregate win.
In a cagey affair, Cambodia’s Bin Thierry broke the deadlock on 28 minutes. Cambodia created the greater number of chances after the restart, one of which forced a save from Macau keeper Ho Man Fai and another that was pulled not far wide of the upright with both sides playing expansive football on the large Macau National Stadium pitch as space began to open up and be exploited.
But it was a clever Macau ball into the Cambodian box on 52 minutes that saw the Angkor Warriors concede a penalty, which Macau’s Leong Ka Hang converted. Cambodia stayed strong after the equaliser, and although soaking up bouts of pressure they always looked to turn defence into attack and looked dangerous on the counter, although few chances were as meaningful as their earlier efforts.
In the final 10 minutes Macau exerted some decent pressure, which on a couple of occasions needed some no-nonsense defending to clear the danger. Unphased, Cambodia looked for counterattacks to score a second to kill the tie, and when their attacks did break down, the deep-lying defence was there, with the midfield back quickly to help nullify the threat to see the Kingdom progress.