Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pride at stake for Cambodia after Cup exit



Pride at stake for Cambodia after Cup exit

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia take on Laos at a likely crowded Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.

Pride at stake for Cambodia after Cup exit

Eliminated from Group A after two successive defeats in the on-going AFF Suzuki Cup, at stake for both Cambodia and Laos are pride and picking up positives when they kick off at 6:30pm on Tuesday to give something to shout about for a likely sizeable crowd at Olympic Stadium.

A new coach is at the helm for Laos, who brought in former Singapore manager V Sundramoorthy last month even as Cambodia announced the jaw dropping appointment of former Japan international and current Melbourne Victory midfielder Keisuke Honda to manage the team.

But for both sides, these bold changes have fallen way short of high expectations.

While Honda watched in some discomfort and even with a touch of disgust from the touchline Cambodia’s doleful second half performance that saw them slip from a goal up to eventually go down 4-1 to Myanmar, the Laos coach was also livid that his side let go an advantageous position against the same side after finding Vietnam too hot to handle in the opener.

In their home tie against Malaysia at the start of the Campaign, Cambodia’s numerous missed chances counted for nothing, while the one goal Malaysia got past the Warriors helped them get the crucial three points and keep them in play for a semi-final place.

At a joint news conference at the Phnom Penh Hotel on Monday morning, both coach Gonzalez and his Laos counterpart Sundramoorthy were reconciled to the fact they were out of the reckoning, but they said they still had plenty to work for in the interests of building a stronger future.

“My players are getting used to my philosophy and formations and I hope they will do well,” Singaporean Sundramoorthy said.

Laos missed the tournament proper two years ago after being part of it for 10 successive editions.

His appointment was not entirely without controversy, and one of Laos’ most popular players “”Messi” Soukaphone Vongchiengkham walked out of the national team after the loss to Vietnam where he was an unused substitute.

However, the 26 year old, who has played in four editions and has close to 50 appearances for the national team, has announced his return to the team, saying that he has sorted out his differences with the new coach.

Incidentally, “Messi” Soukaphone cannot play on Tuesday as he is serving a one match suspension after picking up two yellow cards.

For his part, Gonzalez said the long break after the Myanmar game has helped his team train better.

“The rest and preparation will certainly help. I’m looking forward to an exciting game, the Argentine said.”

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple