Cambodia continued to disappoint on the international stage as they suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to Vietnam in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi last night.
Needing a win to stay in contention for automatic qualification, Cambodia never looked a threat to Mai Duc Chung’s well-marshalled squad.
Thanh Trung Dinh opened the scoring early and in the 13th minute. Receiving the ball outside the box, the midfielder shot for goal with the rain and the flight of the ball deceiving Cambodian keeper Sou Yaty.
Cambodian forward Chan Vathanaka looked out of sorts as he and fellow forwards Keo Sokpheng and Khuon Laboravy struggled to impose themselves on the hosts.
The second-half was an ill-tempered contest as Cambodia ratcheted up the pressure in search of an equaliser. However, as the Angkor Warrior’s piled forward, gaps in the defence allowed in Vietnam captain Van Quyen Nguyen ahead of backtracking Cambodian midfielder Chhin Choeun to head in a second from 10 yards.
As the clock struck 60 minutes, Cambodian keeper Sou Yaty had barely recovered from the shock of the second goal before Nguyen Anh Duc ghosted in behind Cambodia’s defence to deliver a third for the hosts with his right boot.
Yaty looked devastated, while Vitorino on the bench could only look on as his side crumbled.
A fourth came courtesy of Nguyen Cong Phuong, who danced around Nub Tola and Choeun in the box to side-foot the ball beyond the hapless Yaty.
Rare openings which came Cambodia’s way were painfully squandered. Thierry Chantha Bin struck the bar with a fine free-kick with three minutes of normal time remaining, but it was a rare shot on target for the luckless Cambodians.
Vietnam hammered a final nail in the coffin in second-half stoppage time – substitute Mac Hong Quan heading in a fifth and final goal.
Full-time stats delivered a sobering verdict for Cambodia’s performance. Vietnam had 23 shots on the Cambodian goal. In comparison, Cambodia had only seven.
Cambodia have struggled in group C – and under the stewardship of Vitorino. In competitive action at senior level, Vitorino has delivered a solitary win against Afghanistan in July.
He was at the helm in a 7-0 hammering by Jordan in March shortly after taking over from Korean Lee Tae-hoon and suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Vietnam in September’s group C highlight.
With this latest rout, he can add a further defeat to his resume.
Despite the defeat, Cambodia – on three points – maintain their third place position in the group ahead of Afghanistan. The Khorasan Lions secured only their second point by holding group leaders Jordan to a frustrating draw in the day’s other group C match.
The handsome win leaves Vietnam in second place. For Vietnam’s interim coach Duc Chung, it was a happy ending as he hands over the reins to South Korean Park Hang Seo on a high.
Cambodia will next host the Jordanians for their penultimate group match on November 14. Vitorino will need a miracle if his team are to cause an upset against strong opposition.