Sunday, November 24, 2013

Back down to earth

The Cambodia U-23s came back down to earth tonight, beaten 1-0 by the Singapore U-23 side that will compete in next month's SEA Games, after Cambodia had managed to beat a weaker home line-up two days earlier. The match was on grass at the Hougang Stadium and the Cambodia starting line-up included three Phnom Penh Crown players in Sou Yaty, Sos Suhana and the return of Bin Thierry. Yaty got the MOTM vote for a series of saves that kept his team in the game until Singapore scored the match winner on 75 minutes, with Touch Pancharong getting the final touch to send it over the line, though Suhana blasted over when well-placed ten minutes earlier with Cambodia's best chance of the game. Coach Lee Tae-Hoon had this to say: “Of course I’m not happy, no coach is happy to lose a game. But Singapore is a better team than Cambodia and I like our players’ performances tonight.” The Singapore coach summed up Cambodia thus: “It’s not easy playing a team like Cambodia, who will sit back and stay compact,” which pretty much hits the nail on the head in terms of Cambodia's tactics as they head towards the SEA Games. Lee's strategy is clearly one of containment rather than taking the game to the opposition - he made that blatantly clear against Guam by not playing a striker for an hour - and he will have his work cut out to keep Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Timor Leste from going on the rampage when they meet Cambodia in Yangon between 7-16 December.

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