Monday, October 18, 2010

Another damp squib

The 2nd string starting line-up for today's game; (Back row LtoR): Soksana, Bunhieng, Bunchhay, Sovanara, Rithy, Sinoun. (front row): Samuth Dalin, Rady, Piseth, Sin Dalin, Saray
The Cambodian national team completed their warm-up games this afternoon, with a 1-1 draw with the Police Commissariat team before they fly to Laos on Wednesday, though it ended in a damp squib, in more ways than one. South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon began the game with what most regard as his second string line-up and it showed. For the thirty minute first half against the recently promoted Police team, the national team looked pretty clueless and found themselves a goal down at the interval. On 26 minutes, the Police passed their way through the centre of the national defence, leaving Sophal Udom (who has just completed a 6-month ban after playing for Khemara last campaign) with the room to finish with a sweet strike. It was no more than the Police team deserved as they bossed most of the first half against their more illustrious opponents. By half-time, the coach had seen enough and for the 2nd period, he replaced the whole team. The second half began in torrential rain, the sort that makes passing football impossible, and though the national team looked considerably brighter, the waterlogged pitch did nothing to help their game. Khuon Laboravy's shot crept under the foot of a defender and over the line for the equalizing goal 9 minutes after the restart but with the unrelenting rain coming down in buckets, coach Lee Tae-Hoon instructed the referee to call it quits on 16 minutes, with honours shared. It was the right decision.
The coach will have surmised from the first-half that his second choice XI aren't good enough, even with 8 games behind them as a squad whilst they were at their training camp in Vietnam for the last month or so. The second-half line-up were much better but the rain curtailed any real chance of a good work-out and the coach will now select just 18 players from the 22 on show to make the trip, leaving for Laos on Wednesday. He has injury concerns over a lower back strain for Keo Sokngorn and 3 stitches in a cut above his left eye for Tieng Tiny, plus any aches and pains from today's match.
The players who were on show today were:
(1st half); Bunchhay, Sovanara, Rady, Bunhieng, Rithy, Piseth, Soksana, Samuth Dalin, Saray, Sinoun, Sin Dalin.
(2nd half); Mic, Raksmey, Narith, Borin, Tiny, Sothearath, Sopanha, Sokngorn, Sokumpheak, Borey, Laboravy.
The players I believe that will not make the final 18-man squad are in italics.
The two teams line-up in friendship before kick-off
Coach Lee Tae-Hoon (blue cap) gives the squad some last minute instructions
The first choice national team line-up keeping the bench warm for today's first half
Torrential rain caused the abandonment of today's warm-up match in the 2nd half


Anonymous said...

Thanks Andy for detail info. Though I am not optimistic about our national team, I pray that they would do better in Laos.

Anyway, will you go to Laos to cover this event, Andy?

Andy Brouwer said...

I too hope the national team are able to raise their game in order to qualify in Laos.
Unfortunately I will not be able to go to Laos to cover the event, which is sad as I love watching the national team play. Even though I am not Cambodian, I am patriotic when it comes to the country's football team.
I always believe that a successful national team can give the residents of the country a 'feel good' factor if it is promoted properly. Successful qualification in Laos will do exactly that.