With the kingdom registering a heavy 4-1 defeat to Myanmar in their AFF Suzuki Cup group meeting on Monday evening, Cambodia’s head coach Felix Augustin Dalmas explained that he could offer no quick fixes and that improving the national team was a long term plan.
“We played against a really strong team. Myanmar is a really strong team, said Dalmas taking questions from the media after the match. “Yes in the second half they scored four goals and we knew what they could do. But for us, it’s a learning experience. We need to get stronger and we have to be patient with ourselves.”
With General Manager Keisuke Honda present, Cambodia conceded four second half goals to fall to a 4-1 defeat in Mandalay, Myanmar. Chan Vathanaka scored with a smart finish to give the Kouprey’s the lead midway through the first period but was hauled off at half-time triggering a disastrous second-half collapse by the visitors. A Hlaing Bo Bo brace, and a goal each from Si Thu Aung and Aung Than Htet put paid to any hopes of a Cambodia comeback.
Dalmas was probed about the surprising decision to bring off Cambodia’s goalscorer and the Argentinian defended his decision.
“We had our reasons when we make changes, he said. “At the time we felt it was the right choice. Vathanaka is part of the team.”
Meanwhile, Cambodian midfielder Kouch Dani blamed a lack of concentration for the loss.
“We had some opportunities that we missed, but then Myanmar took their chances and that was the big difference, Dani explained. “At 1-0, I thought we would win the game, but after their penalty we lost concentration and then they scored two, three, four.
“We have to learn to keep our concentration and never give up. I think that’s what the coach will tell us for the next game,” he added.
They next welcome Laos to Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium on the 20th for their third Group A fixture. Like Cambodia, and with two games played, Laos are also yet to register a point.