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Team need time, says head coach

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodia’s Chan Vathanaka (left) in action against Timor Leste last week. KT / Yeun Punlue

Cambodia national football team head coach Felix Agustin Gonzalez Dalmas said his team needed more time to adjust to the new tactics introduced by his coaching team.

The Argentinian’s comments come after Cambodia drew 2-2 at home to Timor-Leste last week.

Felix Agustin, acting in place of General Manager Keisuke Honda, said the squad was only just getting used to changes. A surprising absentee from the lineup included Keo Sokpheng – with the coach confirming he chose not to utilise Sokpheng in favour of giving youngsters a chance.

“I spoke to Sokpheng and he is satisfied with our decision, said the Argentinian after last week’s match. “The entire team wants to see the players especially the younger squad members have the opportunity to show their ability.”

Meanwhile, General Manager Honda, who is continuing his playing career with Melbourne Victory, is conducting Cambodian coaching duties via video link with some brief trips to Cambodia.

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.

Speaking after last month’s defeat to Malaysia – his first match at the helm – Honda said he would endeavour to find better solutions for upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup matches which begin next month. Cambodia find themselves in Group A alongside Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

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.

Speaking to the Asean Football Federation, former Cambodia international Hok Sochetra said he was excited about the upcoming tournament.

“It will be a great experience for us all and I really hope the new generation appreciate this chance,” said Sochetra.

Sochetra, who appeared in three editions of the tournament during his playing days, praised the passion of the modern-day Cambodian fan.

“There are thousands of supporters who will fill the stadium for an event like this. Wherever the players go, people recognise them,” he said. “I hope this year, when we host AFF Suzuki Cup matches, there will be at least 20,000-30,000 people in our stadium because everyone is waiting for it.”

Cambodia play a third friendly match against Singapore tomorrow.

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