Sunday, July 3, 2011
Hours to go
Just a couple of hours to go before Cambodia take on Laos in the Lao capital of Vientiane with a great chance of progressing into the 2nd qualifying round of the FIFA World Cup. Cambodia lead 4-2 after the 1st leg last Wednesday and a repeat of their last game in Laos, a goal-less draw in the Suzuki Cup last October, would go down very nicely indeed. A two-legged affair against China later this month, who are 100 places above them in the FIFA world rankings, awaits the eventual winners. The game isn't being screened live on Cambodian television so it'll have to be the internet for up-to-the-minute reports from the match. Whilst I'm waiting, I had a look at the stats for the first leg matches played last week and was surprised, and pleased, to see that the 15,000 crowd (published by the FFC after the game) that turned up at the Olympic Stadium and roared the team to victory, was the third highest attendance in the 1st round. Malaysia, who have been the most successful Asean team in the past two years, attracted 45,000 fans to see their 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei, whilst Vietnam, another hot-bed of football fanatics, had 20,000 for their 6-0 demolition of Macau. Nepal had 9,000 against Timor Leste (and then 15,000 in today's return leg), 5,300 saw Bangladesh beat Pakistan 3-0, 4,000 in Sri Lanka for their 1-1 draw with Philippines and another 5,000 at the Afghanistan v Palestine tie. The lowest crowd, as you might expect, was at the Mongolia v Myanmar encounter, just 3,500.