Tuesday, October 9, 2012

3 in a row

Khim Borey and Sos Suhana before the kick-off
No doubt Cambodia coach Hok Sochetra will feel the luck was against his team again, possibly the hot weather, but he really has to look closely at his defenders after Cambodia succumbed to their third straight AFF Suzuki Cup defeat in Myanmar this afternoon. Cambodia had led at half-time and looked pretty comfortable but defensive frailties proved to be their undoing as Brunei stormed into a 3-1 lead, only for Khim Borey to head a very late consolation goal to give the final scoreline some respectability at 3-2. What had started promisingly, turned into another nightmare for the coach and his charges as they saw their qualification hopes go up in smoke. With Sun Sopanha suspended and Tieng Tiny out injured, Sochetra was forced to change his starting line-up, though he persevered with Phourng Soksana as the lone striker. For most of the first-half it was Cambodia who created the dangerous moments with Brunei failing to pose much threat and keeper Um Vichet handling confidently when the ball did go into the Cambodian box. After Keo Sokngorn fired an early effort into the side-netting, it was Chhun Sothearath who created the opening goal on 24 minutes with a defence-splitting pass which Prak Mony Udom stole in and poked home from eight yards out. On the half hour, both Sokngorn and Sos Suhana watched in anguish as their well-struck shots sailed over the cross-bar by inches, while Vichet had to be alert to push aside a headed effort from the lively Shahrazen Said. The interval arrived with Cambodia still in front.

The second half was a different story altogether. Brunei started as if their lives depended on it and took just 19 seconds to earn a corner. On 46 seconds Shahrazen had headed the corner against the cross-bar. Brunei clearly meant business. Cambodia still posed a threat, especially when Sokngorn released Suhana but his low shot was well blocked by Brunei keeper Wardun Yusof. At the other end, Vichet clawed away a drive by Shahrazen but on 55 minutes, Brunei drew level. Touch Pancharong's weak header from Sairol Sahari's deep cross was drilled past Vichet by Aminuddin Tahir. Four minutes later Soksana had the ball in the net after some ping-pong in the Brunei box but a linesman's flag ruled it offside. Vichet was called into action again, to turn an Azwan Salleh drive around the post. On 63 minutes Brunei took advantage when Vichet couldn't hold Adi Bin Said's center under pressure from Shahrazen and Helmi Zambin was on hand to poke the ball home. Another good two-fisted save by Vichet kept out Adi Bin Said's piledriver but he was exposed twenty minutes from time as Brunei netted their third. Azwan Salleh was on the spot as Najip Tarif's cross was headed straight to him by substitute Khiev Vibol, and he made no mistake from 15 yards out. In the second minute of time added on, Suhana's close range effort was blocked and from Vibol's corner, Khim Borey escaped his marker and glanced his header inside the far post to close the game at 3-2 in Brunei's favour, though there was still time for Borey to claim a handball by a Brunei defender which the referee ignored.
Cambodia line-up: Vichet, Raksmey (Vibol 66), Pancharong, Piseth, Thavrak, Sothearath, Suhana, Sokngorn, PM Udom (Chhoeun 60), Borey, Soksana (Vathanak 62). Bookings: Thavrak, Sothearath.
Two weak clearing headers and a goalkeeping fumble were Cambodia's undoing in the final analysis. Too many players, including Udom, Soksana and Sothearath were anonymous for much of the match and having led at the break, Cambodia allowed themselves to be put on the back foot by a mediocre Brunei side. In the second match, Timor Leste brushed aside Laos 3-1 and will go forward if they beat Brunei in the last game. Cambodia meet Myanmar in their final match on Thursday, with the hosts clear favourites to push their winning streak to three matches, having already beaten Brunei 1-0 and Timor Leste 2-1. The last word goes to Cambodian coach Hok Socehtra. “We played well in first half and we had lots of chances to score but we allowed them to take control at the beginning of second half and they managed to score three times. I can’t really explain the mistakes that we made on those goals but I think that we had many chances that we didn’t take today. I think that we still could have got an equaliser in the last minute because there was a handball by Brunei that could have been a penalty for us. I’m very sorry that we had this result and I feel very sad that our team cannot go through to the Final Round now.”


Anonymous said...

Socheatra was lucky his captain Sun Sopanha was suspended, otherwise he would have selected him ahead of Sothearath - whose perfect long diagonal pass to Prak Mony Udom (and his fine finish) - gave Cambodia a deserved half-time lead. So why did Socheatra take off his goalscorer/best player PMU for Chhin Chouen on 59 minutes!? It was downhill for Cambodia after that. PMU was superb on the left. Yes, Borey's header was some consolation but Brunei outplayed Cambodia and hit the crossbar and missed a number of chances. Played 3 lost 3 says it all. Bring on Myanmar!

Andy Brouwer said...

Anon, we saw a different game as I thought PM Udom was totally anonymous apart from his goal, but he certainly wasn't the only one. It would be easier to say who did play well...that was Vichet (apart from his fumble) and Sokngorn (who tried but has become the 'nearly' man of the national team).
It was a game of two halves if you look at the chances, though Brunei definitely had more clear cut ones.

Anonymous said...

Hello andy,
The coach got his formation and tactics all wrong. The formation was not suited for the players' abilities technically and physically. For example, Soksana was not decent enough to play as a lone striker, Borey couldn't influence the game from the wing until he got to play up front and he scored. Why was Borey, one of our best striker, started on wing in the first place? So many things went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Andy, Vichet did play well and may well usurp Yaty. But more broadly, football is about scoring more goals than you concede and Hok Sochetra's squad is missing Cambodia's three best attackers Ravy, Chum and Sokumpheak. The current crop have poor game-to-goal ratios. Chun Chum scored at around a goal per game in the MCL but was inexplicitly jettisoned from Sochetra's final squad. Sok Rithy is Cambodia's best stopper as his performances with goals conceded shows us.

Anonymous said...

Saksona is not a good finisher in my opinion comparing to Boravy. But Coach Sochetra selected him instead of Ravy (before he's injured). Anyway, we miss many good players due to injuries. I think even with current squard, Cambodia did not work at their best. Psychological problem! I hope that FFC and Coach wont say other team include HALF BLOOD PLAYERS AND NATURALIZED as an excuse. Its not illegal against fifa rules and each country has right to do so. It is your CHOICES OF ACTION. BLAME IT!