Cambodia’s match-winner Kouch Sokumpheak skips away from a sliding challenge from Malaysian U23 team’s Abdul Shukur Dusoh during their international friendly game yesterday at Olympic Stadium.
The only goal of a match ravaged by rain during the last 20 minutes came early in the first session when Kouch Sok-umpeak’s right foot brokered no answer from the visitors’ goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
This is the first win for Cambodia in recent times against a squad from their South East Asian rivals.
The Kingdom’s South Kor-ean coach, Lee Tae Hoon, was guarded in his appraisal, saying the victory was a good sign but he definitely wanted more from the team.
“I want them to perform at a higher level of efficiency,” Lee told the Post.
“There were some good phases during the match, but there were also some terrible choices. What we need is a good balance.”
Striker Sokumpheak put his mark on the fixture after just 10 minutes by displaying superb individual speed and ball control after getting hold of an aerial delivery from mid-field.
He craftily unlocked the defence and crashed the ball through Che Mat to send the sizeable band of home supporters into raptures.
In terms of possession, the hosts were clearly doing a grand job. With a tight back line monitoring the break- aways, the Malaysians were under enormous pressure.
Seconds before the break, however, came a rare moment of anguish for the Cambodian defenders when a melee brought Malaysian defender Mohamad Fadhli Shas within arm’s length of Ouk Mich, with a goal firmly in sight. Amazingly, the Cambodian stopper recovered in time to avert the danger.
Light rain greeted the players on their return from the break and the floodlights were switched on to deal with the gathering gloom.
Coach Lee brought on Prak Mony Udom for Sam El Nasa and there were some promising moves by Cambodia.
A header from Chhin Chhoeun sailed over the bar when he had the Malaysian goal at his mercy. On the break, midfielder Faris Ramlan came threateningly close to an equaliser.
The only incident of note in the second half was when a ghastly challenge by Tieng Tiny on Shukur Juoh was penalised with a red card by referee Thong Chanketya.
With conditions on the pitch getting worse by the minute, Lee Tae Hoon pulled out forwards Sokumpheak and Khuon Laboravy to give Mat Hassan and Sos Souhana, who as Prek Pra Keila team-mates were making their first appearances at international level, some playing time.
Tum Saray and In Vicheka were also substituted in.
The visitors made several of their own changes, but none could make an impact.
Guiding the ball through the puddles in torrential rain was no joke for the players, though there were moments of hilarity at both ends to amuse the crowd.
|Chhlam Samuth’s Paul Olabode (left) tries to pass National Police Commissary’s Sob Ravy during their Metfone C-League match at Olympic Stadium yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun|
challenges. For enthusiasts of the game interested in knowing about the
challenges and explore about football in the small South East Asian
nation of Cambodia, there is no better man to talk than Scott O’Donnell.
A former footballer for Australia, O’Donnell was at the helm of the
Cambodia national team for a twin span that lasted 4 years. When
Sportskeeda’s Renato caught up with the former Cambodia manager,
O’Donnell spoke about his past as a footballer, mainly in Singapore
where he played in the first edition of the Professional Football
League, and matters in Cambodia.
with the players and my coaching staff, but after the President Ravy
Khek left Cambodian Football Federation (CFF), it was increasingly
difficult to get the support from CFF. With very little development
taking place it was always going to difficult for any coach to achieve
any kind of success as the players are not taught the basics – tactical
and technical aspects of the game – at a young age.
Cambodian League? There are many Africans playing in Cambodia. Do you
think it is positive for development of Cambodian football?
Africans playing in the local league, unfortunately the quality of these
players is not great. I doubt most of them are Professional players as
many are no better than the local players. So I don’t think the majority
of the current crop of players are helping to develop the game in
Cambodia. If the clubs were able to sign experienced, quality
professional foreign players, then I think it would undoubtedly help the
development of the game in Cambodia.
with the amount of publicity, press and TV coverage and good crowds.
Those were very exciting times to be playing in Singapore. There were
some very good foreign players and the atmosphere was great.
Unfortunately that is no longer the case. The interest in local football
has evaporated and I have to say that the quality of foreign players
leaves a lot to be desired compared to 1996.
crowds and passion. Where did you enjoy working as player and coach the
and Terengganu manage to get good crowds these days. I enjoyed playing
in both Singapore and Malaysia. Both nations are very passionate about
football. Obviously playing in front of big crowds in Malaysia was great
from a player’s view point. I think it is very difficult at present in
Singapore to compete with the likes of the EPL and UEFA Champions
League. Most people prefer to watch those leagues instead of the local
ones, but I think Football Association Singapore (FAS) are doing the
best to try and turn things around. But for that to happen they need
the support of the clubs as well.
greats in the S-League: the Brazilian Egmar Gonçalves and the Croatian
Mirko Grabovac. Which of them was the more difficult opponent?
very good strikers in Australia and Malaysia too. Egmar was a very
consistent player for so long for Home United FC. He was strong and had
the knack of being in the right place at the right time to score so many
goals. We enjoyed some good battles on the field but I think there was
mutual respect between the two of us. Mirko Grabovac was a different
player to Egmar. Probably technically more skillful than Egmar but not
as physical or mobile, but still a very good striker.
and wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours.
C-League campaign with a well merited 2-1 victory over traditional
heavyweights Naga Corp at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
|Kirivong’s Meak Chhordaravuth’s scores his side’s second goal during their match against Prek Pra yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun|
spirited show of controlled aggression and creativity upfront, the
Police rallied superbly back to first level an early Naga goal and then
assume command late in the game to earn three precious points.
snap goal by Naga frontliner Chin Chum came as a counter punch after
their opposition had missed the target more than once. But the former
league champions found the going progressively tougher as the novices
began to string together several promising moves after the resumption.
Naga appeared to have fallen back on the defence of that narrow lead,
the Police were piling on relentless pressure. The breakthrough came
for the Division A1 winners, when Long Nasy threaded
his way through to polish off a splendid solo effort in style.
ball continued to roll in favour of the Police, even as Naga forwards
took a couple of pot shots. But the goal that mattered came off the
boot of an alert and circumspect Soy Piseth, who tapped the ball in
after some anxious exchanges insides the six-yard box.
|Naga Corp’s Kop Isa (left) vies with Sob Ravy of National Police Commissary. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun|
out of it was more a warning shot to the rest that a team to reckon
with has arrived.
Sen Chey narrowly missed the Super 4 playoffs cut last year, but the
fifth place finishers were bang on target in their league opener
against Prek Pra Keila
was striker Nelson Oladiji’s imposing presence that was the root of the
problem for the Prek Pra defence. The lofty Nigerian was unlucky to
slam the upright and scrape the paint off the cross bar in the first
half, but midway through the second session he produced a telling
header to put Kirivong ahead.
by Meak Chhordaravuth, with Oladiji back to round off the tally in
injury time. There were two narrow squeaks for Kirivong when Prek Pra
attackers You Arafat and Sos Souhana attempted shots from the top of
the box, but both were sprayed wide.
round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. The
first and second round matchups were decided at the AFC House in Kuala
|Cambodia face Laos in their 2014 World Cup qualifier. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun|
Cambodia played out a goalless stalemate
with Laos in their most recent meeting in Vientiane during the 2011 AFF
Suzuki Cup qualifiers last October. The winner of the home and away
legs will face China in the second round.
First round draw
- Malaysia v Taiwan
- Bangladesh v Pakistan
- Cambodia v Laos
- Sri Lanka v Philippines
- Afghanistan v Palestine
- Vietnam v Macau
- Nepal v East Timor
- Mongolia v Myanmar
First legs to be played on June 29. Second legs to be played on July 3.
Second round draw
- Thailand v Afghanistan or Palestine
- Lebanon v Bangladesh or Pakistan
- China v Cambodia or Laos
- Turkmenistan v Indonesia
- Kuwait v Sri Lanka or Philippines
- Oman v Mongolia or Myanmar
- Saudi Arabia v Hong Kong
- Iran v Maldives
- Syria v Tajikistan
- Qatar v Vietnam or Macau
- Iraq v Yemen
- Singapore v Malaysia or Taiwan
- Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan
- United Arab Emirates v IndiaJordan v Nepal or East Timor
First legs to be played on July 23. Second legs to be played on July 28.
Phnom Penh Post
2012 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers. The draw for the qualifiers will
be held at the AFC House on March 30.
With the inclusion of Cambodia, total 40 teams have entered
the fray for this edition of the tournament and have been divided into
two zones – West (22) and East (18).
The teams will be divided
into seven groups of six and five teams each. West Zone will have two
groups of six and two of five teams while East will have three groups
of six teams each.
Top two teams from each of the groups and third best team from West and East zones will qualify for the tournament proper.
TEAMS AND ZONES
West by ranking
Uzbekistan, 2. UAE, 3. Syria, 4. Iraq, 5. Iran, 6. Kuwait, 7.
Tajikistan, 8. Oman, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Bahrain, 11. Yemen, 12.
Bangladesh, 13. Qatar, 14. Nepal, 15. Kyrgyzstan, 16. Pakistan, 17.
India, 18. Afghanistan, 19. Lebanon, 20. Palestine, 21. Maldives, 22.
East by ranking
1. DPR Korea, 2.
Australia, 3. Japan, 4. Indonesia, 5. Vietnam, 6. China, 7. Timor
Leste, 8. Chinese Taipei, 9. Thailand, 10. Laos, 11. Hong Kong, 12.
Singapore, 13. Korea Republic, 14. Myanmar, 15. Malaysia, 16. Guam, 17.
Cambodia, 18. Macau.
Maldives showed why experience can count double, or rather quadruple,
with a 4-0 rout of visitors Cambodia on Monday night in their opening
group match of the AFC Challenge Cup. The hosts fielded the veteran
trio of striker Ibrahim Fazeel, defender Abdul Ghani Assad and
goalkeeper Imran Mohamed, all of which had played against the Kingdom a
| Photo by: Ung Chamroeun
Maldivian players (red shirts) celebrate at the end of the their AFC
Challenge Cup group match against Cambodia on Monday at the Rasmee
Dhadu Stadium in Male.
barely a minute of Chinese referee Zhao Liang blowing his whistle at
the Rasmee Dhadu Stadium. Mukhthaar Naseer, who scored the winning goal
against India in the 2008 SAFF Championship, sent the home fans in
early delirium as his rocket from the right-hand byline blasted through
Cambodian keeper Ouk Mich’s hands and into the far side netting.
Fazeel and skipper Ashfaq Ali then piled the pressure on tourists,
carving out numerous gilt-edged chances. In the 41st minute, Naseer
drew across two defenders and hit a square pass to his skunk-haired
skipper, who duly knocked it into an unguarded right corner to double
their lead heading into the break.
Cambodia’s best chance of
the first half fell to 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup Golden Boot winner
Khoun Laboravy. Prak Mony Udom set up the prolific striker, but
Laboravy’s fumbled attempt proved no problem for Maldivian stopper
Sam El Nasa, the only current Cambodian player to have
faced the Maldives three times, was replaced by Sok Pheng in the last
minute of the first period.
For the first 15 minutes after the
restart, Cambodia enjoyed the majority of possession. Chhun Sothearath
was presented with space to break into the penalty area, but Maldivian
defender Akram Abdull Gani came across well to thwart the attack.
Cambodian defenders Lay Rasmey, Tieng Tiny, Say Piseth and Touch Panhcharong were finding it difficult to subdue the
rampaging Ashfaq, whose speed and movement has earned him hero status in his homeland.
Chan Rithy came on for the final quarter-of-an-hour, but his presence
alongside Kouch Sokumpheak had little impact for the travellers. Sun
Sopanha’s corner kicks were consistently cleared by the Maldivian
With six minutes of regulation left on the clock, a
poor throw out by Ouk Mich was snapped up by Qasim Shamweel who played
through Ashfaq to notch his second of the night. Four minutes later,
and captain fantastic claimed his hat-trick with another well worked
move to put the game to bed.
In the post-match press conference,
Cambodian coach Lee Tae Hoon admitted to being outclassed by the home
side. “They are too good. With their home crowd, they made it very
difficult for our players,” he said.
“It’s great for us to play
against the good team – it’s a good experience for the players. [There
is] nothing to blame on my boys, they worked very hard.”
Maldives coach Diego Cruciani was clearly delighted with the result.
“All the credit goes to the players because I had just three practice
sessions with them,” he said.
Cambodia now face inaugural AFC
Challenge Cup champions Tajikistan tonight at 11pm Cambodian time, in
their first ever competitive meeting. Tajikistan beat Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in
Monday’s early match thanks to an 88th minute’s own goal by Kyrgyzstan
captain Sydykov Ruslan.
Hosts the Maldives, which currently lead group C, will play Kyrgyzstan in today’s first match at 6pm Cambodian time.
Cambodian squad voiced their dissatisfaction with the late night
scheduling of their fixtures, with all three of their group games
kicking off at 9pm in Male. “We have never played at 9pm, so it was
difficult for us,” said one player.