Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lee Tae Hoon calls for firepower




Lee Tae Hoon calls for firepower

Lee Tae Hoon calls for firepower

110208_24
Cambodian national football team head coach Lee Tae Hoon of South Korea says his squad is lacking consistency up front.

One aspect of the Cambodian national football team that has been a source of constant worry for head coach Lee Tae Hoon is what he called the “absence of a striker who can terrorise the box and score goals”.

The 40-year-old South Korean tactician claimed he was not so much worried about his team’s backline or midfield ahead of their AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against Macau tomorrow.

“Without being outstanding, they are modest but dependable,” Lee said of his front men. “We need good strikers who can score and create goals on a regular basis.”

The national team has been training under the watchful eyes of Lee since mid January in preparation for the home leg, to be played at 3pm at Olympic Stadium, against the East Asian minnows. The South Korean coach, who took over the reins from Australian Scott O’Donnell at the end of the league season last year, has been persistent in his demand for the team’s forwards to sharpen their shooting skills.

“We had some harsh lessons to learn from the Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos [in October last year] where we lost on goal difference; the most important one being the need to improve on our goal scoring capabilities,” he said.

Cambodia boast two wins (3-1 in 2008 and 2-1 in 2009) from their previous meetings with Macau in the same stage of the competition. Macau have just one victory against Mongolia to show from international matches in the past three years.

However, Lee maintains there should be no room for complacency.

“We have to respect our rivals and their ability – we have to be on our guard,” he said.

The coach noted a lack of preparation time, emphasising the fact that half the team who played in Laos had been filtered out to make room for newcomers.

“[The new squad] are combining well but it takes time for them to make a perfect blend. It will be a stern test on Wednesday as to how well the team is coming along,” he said.

With minor injury concerns seemingly sorted, the coach welcomed the return of key trio Khim Borey, Keo Sokgnorn and Chan Rithy, who currently ply their trade in Thailand.

The action shifts to Macau for the return leg on February 16, with the winner of the qualifying round to join Tajikistan, Maldives and Kyrgyzstan in Group C for the next stage of the tournament from March 20-31.

The AFC Challenge Cup was conceived in 2006 as a biennial event. The winner of the fourth edition, which will conclude next year, will qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup. North Korea won the last year’s edition held in Sri Lanka.

This year’s qualification round, which ropes in eight of the lowest ranking national teams, features Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Taiwan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia and the Philippines.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last