Saturday, February 25, 2012
It can get worse
It doesn't get much worse than losing to a country some thirty places below you in the FIFA rankings does it? Well, yes it can, just watch this space. Cambodia came unstuck against hosts Brunei tonight in their opening game of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, losing to an injury-time goal, and going down 3-2. On Wednesday, they face Timor Leste, who are another three places below Brunei and a loss to them would be nothing short of mortifying. As it is, there's no place to hide for head coach Lee Tae-Hoon, who has left a trail of disastrous results in his wake as the man responsible for Cambodia's painfully poor international showing since he took over the reins in August 2010. Although the tournament that Cambodia are in this time around, an invitational U-21 (+ 5 overage players) competition, was meant to bring some cheer and feel-good factor to the national team squad, a loss to Brunei has done exactly the opposite. The game took place after the opening ceremony and no doubt, Brunei had the bit between their teeth, determined to give their fans something to shout about. Prak Mony Udom silenced them as early as the 7th minute with a penalty to put Cambodia ahead, only for the sultanate to level a minute before the break and to take a 75th minute lead. Substitute Chan Vathanaka brought Cambodia back to all-square on 83 minutes before Brunei came up with that late, gut-wrenching winning goal. Cambodia now need to pick themselves up to face the U-19 team of Vietnam on Monday in their next group game. They have an opportunity to put matters right against their younger opponents, but any Vietnam team is a tough proposition, and Cambodia will need to show their mettle to get anything out of the encounter. I won't hold my breath.