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

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.


  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • ‘Single Portal’ integrated registration system welcomes nearly 50 firms

    Forty-seven companies have successfully registered via a newly-launched information technology e-business registration platform as of the end of the second week of this month, Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Phan Phalla said. Six ministries and state-run institutions have been integrated into a

  • Battambang artist brings giant animals to life

    The giant reptile’s gaping mouth appears ready to consume its latest victim. It stands taller than a person and is incredibly life-like with authentic colours, a long spiky tail and detailed scales adorning its entire body. If it wasn’t 13m long, you may

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the