I hope one day Cambodia will win the AFF Cup, but that will only happen if we get more support and motivation, and have good leadership
- From: Chim <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 02:37:35 -0800 (PST)
Cambodia return home beaten but not broken
Written by Sam Rith and Dan Riley
Friday, 12 December 2008
Football team reflects on Suzuki Cup group-stage exit
THE Cambodian national football team returned home Wednesday evening
after a disappointing campaign in the AFF Suzuki Cup finals.
The side lost all three of their group matches, played in Indonesia,
including a 0-5 drubbing by defending champions Singapore.
Team spirits remain high, however, with the Royals' players and
coaches taking many positives from their experiences in the Asean
Football Federation competition.
Cambodia head coach Prak Sovannara told the Post by phone Thursday
that the players showed good determination and had struggled hard to
compete in their games, improving on previous performances at a
friendly tournament in Indonesia three months ago.
"Before, we lost to the Burmese team 7-1, but this time we only lost
3-2," he said.
"Our defence is getting stronger, but we are still not flexible
enough. In the future, we will have to work on adapting to changes in
"Singapore altered their technique against us, playing the long ball
and hitting short passes, so they beat us easily."
The joy of scoring
Striker Kouch Sokumpheak was delighted to record his second-ever goal
for his country in Tuesday's match against Myanmar, after nearly four
years of playing for the national team.
"I was trying very hard to get a goal," said the 22-year-old, adding
that it took him two attempts to score. His only other goal came at
last year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Thailand.
Kouch Sokumpheak said the conditions for the tournament were good,
with similar playing surfaces to that of Phnom Penh's Olympic Stadium
and fair, consistent refereeing for all teams.
"There were many spectators clapping and cheering for Cambodia,
especially for our game against Singapore," he said. "My favourite
match was against Indonesia because they had a lot of local support,
and that gave me a strong desire to compete."
The striker predicted Singapore would win the tournament because of
their many foreign-born players, whose size advantage can prove
"We found it hard to play against them because they were big and
strong and had good technique," Kouch Sokumpheak said of the
"I hope one day Cambodia will win the AFF Cup, but that will only
happen if we get more support and motivation, and have good
leadership," he added.
The national team will now divert their attention to the 2009 SEA
Games, being held in Vientiane, Laos, next December.
Ouk Sethycheat, secretary general of the Football Federation of
Cambodia, said: "We will try our best to upgrade our football fields.
We will do an evaluation of the tournament in Indonesia to decide what
we need to upgrade for the next tournament."
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