Friday, October 21, 2011

Glaring omissions

Sok Sovan (4) heads a goal against Thailand but could miss out on the SEA Games
The 20-man squad for Cambodia's tilt at the SEA Games was published in the Phnom Penh Post today and as the competition is for the U-23 age bracket, the squad almost picks itself, except for a few notable non-selections by the South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon. From my point of view, the three most obvious omissions are all from my club, Phnom Penh Crown. Goalkeeper Peng Bunchhay, defender Sok Sovan and striker Khim Borey have all been ignored. All three, on current form, should walk into the squad and the team, but the head coach obviously doesn't agree. Both Bunchhay and Borey have previously played under Lee, and he's messed them about before as well. He knows all about them and obviously doesn't rate them. He left them out of the recent BIDC Cup games. The case of Sovan is different. He played in all three BIDC games and performed well, alongside Sok Rithy in the middle of the defence, so his omission comes as a shock. He's the freshest player in the squad, having played sparingly throughout the season just ended. I'm gutted for him if he doesn't make it, as he deserves to be on the plane to Indonesia. With such a small squad, Cambodia's options are limited so I must confess surprise at four names that appear, keeper Sar Sophea, full-backs Chhin Meang Seang and Samuth Dalin and striker Mat Hasan. None of these four would've made my final twenty. Instead the three I've mentioned above and Army's Oum Kumpheak would walk into the squad. The team have one more friendly to flex their muscles, against visiting Nepal on Friday 28 October at Olympic Stadium before they head to Jakarta to face the might of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Lee's 20-man SEA Games squad looks like this:
Goalkeepers: Um Vichet, Sou Yaty (both Army), Sar Sophea (Preah Khan Reach).
Defenders; Pheak Rady (Army), Sok Rithy, Lay Raksmey (both PKR), Chhin Meng Seang, Touch Pancharong, Samuth Dalin (all Nat Police).
Midfielders: Chin Chhoeurn, Phuong Soksana (both Army), Prak Mony Udom, Soun Veasna, Tum Saray (all PKR), Chhun Sothearath (BBU), Sos Souhana (Prek Pra).
Forwards: Sok Pheng (Phnom Penh Crown), Khuon Laboravy (PKR), Keo Sokngorn (Samuth Sakhon), Mat Hasan (Prek Pra).
There is, in all probability, changes afoot to the above squad which was most likely submitted a while ago to ensure it met SEA Games eligibility rules - the final squad will show some adjustments. I have it on good authority that Sok Sovan will be included as will Pov Phearith in midfield. Likely casualties will be Chhin Meng Seang and Mat Hasan. Which makes more sense, but we shall wait and see.


Sophak said...

Sok Sovan was one of the shining line-up in BIDC Cup, but he is left out of from the traveling squad. In stead, Lee opts to pick the players who were on the bench in that tournament. I really want to ask him face to face what his selection is based on.

This selection would make the hat seller angry as Andy definitely does not have a chance to buy the new

Anonymous said...

Bizarre! Sok Sovann should walk into the team and his headed goal against Thailand was a stunner! Khim Borey is one of the 5 best Cambodian players and Bunchhay the standout goalkeeper in the Metfone Premier League. These 3 omissions are extraordinary - the coach is inscrutable and heading for the chop!

Andy Brouwer said...

Indeed Anon, there's no way I'm going to be eating my hat at this

Sovan is currently training with the national team and it looks likely that he will travel to Jakarta afterall. It's not 100% definite yet but highly probable.
The absence of Borey and Bunchhay is indeed extraordinary as they both qualify by age. Borey is easily the most experienced player of his age group in the country and in fact has more international experience than the coach himself!
It's a travesty.