With two matches played and registering two defeats, Cambodia have garnered a woeful record in this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup – a 1-0 loss to Malaysia in their group A opener at home and last weeks away defeat to Myanmar where they were thumped 4-1 despite leading at half-time.
But for Cambodia head coach, Felix Dalmas, an extended rest for his team will prove invaluable as they prepare to welcome Laos to the Olympic Stadium this evening for their third group match.
“We are very excited to play against another good team, said the Argentinian at yesterday’s press conference. We had about a week to prepare for this match against Laos.”
“Our preparation this time is a bit longer and we have been working to correct the mistakes that we made in our last game. We have also managed to see our opponents’ game and we hope that we can show what we have improved.”
Laos are also winless in the competition and will be hoping to avoid adding a further defeat to their southern rivals.
Laos languish at the foot of the table after defeats to Myanmar, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Despite no chance of qualification to the next round, Laos promised to be no pushovers.
“Even though our team is out of the qualification run to next round, we will try our best for the game,” said V. Sundramoorthy, Laos’ Head Coach.
For Cambodian captain Soeuy Visal, his team will have to play a cautious game if they are to emerge victoriou against the visitors.
“Even though they [Laos] are already out of the competition, they can still be dangerous. We need to be better than them,” said Visal.
“And we need to keep on improving and show the work that has been put in this week with coach [General Manager Keisuke] Honda.”
Cambodia, who go into the match fourth in a group of five, travel to Vietnam on Saturday for their final group match.
Meanwhile, Cambodia’s general manager Honda, who is in Phnom Penh for tonights match, has been keeping up training as well as connecting with young fans as part of his role at his Soltilo Soccer School.
Honda is turning out for Aussie-club Melbourne Victory and is juggling his time between l eadingCambodia and acting as midfield enforcer for the A-League side.