National Team General Manager Keisuke Honda speaking in his post-match press conference after Cambodia’s 3-1 defeat to Malaysia said he was “satisfied” with the match adding that players followed his instructions well.
“They did what was expected of them in first 30 minutes. But improvements need to be made as a game lasts 90 minutes, said the former AC Milan midfielder on Monday. “I am to blame for the loss and will try to figure out why the team lost.”
Cambodia scored the opener through Soeuy Visal in the 18th minute of the rain-delayed game but Malaysia struck three goals in a frenzied attack in the second period which left the hosts reeling at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.
Malaysia’s Mohd Saad Shahrul seized on a chance in the 62nd minute to level for the visitors before the 37,000 fans in attendance were quietened soon after as Andik Mohd Ishak claimed the lead for Harimau Malaysia connecting with Shahrel Fikri’s delivery.
A third for Malaysia came via MD Fikri Fauzi in stoppage time leaving Cambodia – and Honda – ruing their luck. The former Japanese international said he would endeavour to find better solutions for upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup matches which begin in November.
The Angkor Warriors next play an international friendly Singapore in mid-October in preparation for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup. Cambodia find themselves in Group A alongside Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.
He is expected to be involved in Cambodia’s imminent 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign. Cambodia start their cup bid with a home game against Malaysia on November 8th in Phnom Penh. The competition will take place between November 8 to December 15 across 10 Southeast Asian nations.
In the meantime, Honda is set to re-join his Melbourne Victory teammates in Australia and will continue his Cambodian coaching duties via video link.
Honda became Melbourne Victory’s marquee signing for the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season, joining after varying degrees of success with Italian giants AC Milan, Russian club CSKA Moscow, and Mexican outfit Pachucha. He started his career at Nagoya Grampus in 2004.