Suzuki Cup qualifier played tonight in Vientiane, Laos. I managed to catch the action on an unnamed tv channel which clocked in 20 minutes after the game began. From video highlights Ouk Mic pulled off a wonderful save on ten minutes. For the 25 minutes of the first-half that I did see, Cambodia more than held their own, and managed a succession of half a dozen corners, from which Khuon Laboravy headed powerfully against the crossbar and Tieng Tiny blasted the loose ball wildly over the top on 35 minutes. Five minutes before that, Laos had also struck the bar when a Kaysone free-kick beat Ouk Mic in its flight. On 40 minutes, Laboravy was close to the opener when his touch to a Khim Borey knock-down was stopped at point-blank range by the Lao goalkeeper. All square at the interval, 0-0.
In the 2nd half, both teams tired visibly in the latter stages and chances were at a premium. Cambodia began the half brightly and a Laboravy header that bulged the net was flagged offside just after the restart. The same player then curled a 20 yard shot over the cross-bar. Laos made two quick substitutions and should've taken the lead on 73 minutes. Left winger Kaysone had his fierce drive turned aside by skipper Ouk Mic with a superb one-handed diving save and from the corner, the hosts headed wide when Rang Borin was outjumped to a header. Tum Saray, Nuth Sinoun and Phuong Soksana all got a taste of the action in the last third of the game and that helped Cambodia shut up shop against their fancied hosts and earn themselves a fully-deserved share of the spoils. In the opening game of the Suzuki Cup, the Philippines showed their mettle with a 5-0 win over Timor Leste, with Ian Araneta netting a hat-trick of headers. Cambodia next face Timor in 2 day's time (Sunday) and will have gained a lot of confidence from their performance tonight against Laos. My man of the match: Khuon Laboravy - he looked the most dangerous man in blue for Cambodia whenever he had the ball.
The Cambodia starting line-up (and changes): Mic (capt), Raksmey, Narith, Borin, Tiny; Sothearath (Saray 77m), Sopanha, Sokumpheak, Sokngorn (Sinoun 84m); Borey, Laboravy (Soksana 89m). [subs not used] Bunchhay, Rithy, Piseth, Rady.