Boeung Ket interim coach Keo Kosal said his players must learn from the heavy defeat inflicted on them in their AFC Cup Group F opener.
Metfone C-League champions Boeung Ket started their campaign in the worst possible way as they were dismantled by Philippines Football League side Ceres Negros 9-0 on Tuesday evening.
Speaking after the heaviest defeat in the clubs’ history, interim coach Kosal said that finding any single reason for the manner of defeat was not right – yet went on to blame the state of the pitch on a rain-drenched night at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City, Philippines.
“We can’t blame the state of the pitch for our loss, but playing on a slippery pitch made it very difficult to play. Keeping the ball in possession wasn’t easy,” he said.
“Also chasing the ball on a muddy pitch certainly makes our players tired,” he added.
Kosal said he expected his players to learn from the painful defeat as they prepare to avoid a repeat in their next game against Shan United in Phnom Penh on February 27.
Boeung Ket now have the ignominy of going into the history books as the margin of victory equalled the AFC Cup record, first registered by Uzbekistan’s Nasaf Qarshi, who beat India’s Dempo in a group stage tie in 2011.
Ceres, the 2017 PFL champions, were rarely challenged by the visitors as Takumi Uesato, Bienvenido Marañon and OJ Porteria all scored braces. An own goal from Boeung Ket’s Sun Sovanrithy along with strikes from Carlie De Murga and Manny Ott completed the rout.
“I did not expect this result before the game, but the team went out there to fight,” said Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic.
“I’m proud of the players and have to congratulate them for the big win, but we have to keep going and I’m sure the other clubs are stronger.”