Monday, March 18, 2013

Grapevine news

The grapevine informs me, before any official announcement, that Cambodia will take a squad of 22 players to the Philippines on Wednesday ready for their first AFC Challenge Cup qualifying tie against Turkmenistan two days later on Friday. From the squad of 25 players who took on Boeung Ket in last Friday's practice match, I understand that two players carrying injuries, Naga's Choun Chum and Sun Sovannrithy, will not travel, as well as PKR's Khuon Laboravy, just back after a seven month spell on the touchlines. That means that four Phnom Penh Crown players will make the trip - goalkeeper Samrith Seiha, Sos Suhana, Kouch Sokumpheak and Khim Borey. After the Turkmenistan game on 22 March, Cambodia meet hosts Philippines on Sunday (24 Mar) and then Brunei on Tuesday (26 Mar). Only the group winners are guaranteed entry into next year's finals. Turkmenistan are the favourites to top the table though the Philippines will be gunning for goals in their matches against Brunei and Cambodia in an effort to get the best-placed runners-up spot, as two second-placed teams also qualify. It's a very tough task for Cambodia against nations of the caliber of Turkmenistan and Philippines, who will call on eight overseas players for their squad, and their best bet for a positive result must be against the ever-improving Brunei.
The Cambodia squad is as follows: Yaty, Seiha, Bunchhay, Raksmey, Khemrin, Pancharong, Tiny, Piseth, Thavrak, Rithy, Narith, Phallin, Sopanha, Veasna, Chanrasmey, PM Udom, Chhoeun, Suhana, Vathanak, Borey, Vathanaka, Sokumpheak.

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