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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The Cambodia national team praying for a good performance against Philippines
The Cambodian national team have their first real test ahead of the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying games in early October when they take on the visiting Philippines team, who are in the middle of what appears to be a world tour. They are literally playing everywhere and anyone ahead of their own Suzuki Cup games later this year. The match takes place at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Wednesday with a 6pm kick-off under floodlights - exactly what the fans want to see, evening matches under lights. Let's hope the lights are bright enough. The test for Hok Sochetra's team is a tough one, even on their home turf. The Philippines have been improving in giant leaps over the past couple of years since they decided on an influx of players who are plying their trade abroad. Take their goalkeeper Neil Etheridge for example. He's with Fulham in the Barclays Premier. Their federation have decided on an international approach to their training and playing, with training camps overseas and a series of friendly matches designed to pit their team against different styles of opponents. So the test for Sochetra's Cambodia line-up will be intriguing. The coach has had his squad in training boot-camp for the last few days, after holding three sessions a week for the past couple of months, and playing a glut of matches against local club opposition. Tomorrow he gets to test his formation and his tactics against a senior international opponent for the first time. His team selection will be crucial. Four Phnom Penh Crown players are in the national squad - Khim Borey, Tieng Tiny, Sos Suhana and Sok Pheng. They will rejoin their home club after tomorrow's game to prepare for the AFC President's Cup later this month.