|The Cambodia U-23s v Singapore. Back Row: Yaty, Sovan, Soksana, Sokngon, Samoeun, Rithy. Front: Saray, Pancharong, Sothearath, Suhana, Chhoeun - click to enlarge, pic courtesy of B P Chua/aXrosstheline.com|
The second friendly is on Sunday night on a different pitch and apparently, has been deemed a full A-list FIFA-recognised international. Which is obviously bonkers. The Cambodian squad is clearly their U-23s with Tieng Tiny sitting on the bench as their only 'official' over-age player. The Singapore team is said to be their U-23 A team, ie. the one that will play in the SEA Games. Those two facts alone would negate that the match is a senior international - but whatever, the result will count as far as FIFA-ranking points are concerned. Though perhaps the biggest surprise is the return to the national team fold by Crown's mercurial midfield playmaker, Bin Thierry, who announced the following on Facebook on Saturday morning: "I have been asked to return to the Cambodia national team, and have agreed. I will rejoin the national team in Singapore today." Short and sharp and to the point, Thierry flew out mid-day and met his teammates for a training session on Saturday night after, just twelve days ago, announcing his retirement from international football for personal reasons, which he never divulged. The uproar by the Cambodian footballing public at that news could be heard as far away as Singapore, so at least the clamour for his return will die down.