Cambodia’s head coach Leonardo Vitorino is confident about his side’s chances of upsetting their Vietnamese visitors in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification match this evening.
After recording his first victory as coach – a 1-0 win over Afghanistan in June – Vitorino is looking to add three more points for the kingdom in their quest for qualification from a tough Group C.
“Playing at home is our advantage and the team will use it to win. Vietnam are a very strong team, but we have worked hard to prepare for this match,” Vitorino said in yesterday’s pre-match press conference alongside his Vietnamese counterpart Mai Duc Chung.
“Our youth team suffered a loss against them, but at that time we did not have the best players in our squad. And after each defeat, the players become stronger by learning and analysing their strengths and weaknesses.
“I believe Cambodian players have a great chance of winning this match.”
Coach Duc Chung, who previously coached the Vietnamese women’s SEA Games squad and is acting in a caretaker capacity in the men’s senior squad, remained confident of leading Vietnam to their first group win.
“I’ll try my best and I hope that Vietnamese fans will continue to support the national team,” he said.
“I’ve led the women’s team to be the champions of the SEA Games three times before, but I also coached some men’s teams, so everything will be okay.
“I believe in our players and I am confident in my own ability.”
Cambodia can call on Chan Vathanaka, the kingdom’s young fleet-footed forward who has returned for international duty from his Japanese-club Fujieda MYFC.
However, Cherng Polroth and Samoeun Pidor remain out of contention. The duo were sensationally booted from Cambodia’s woeful SEA Games campaign after unspecified disciplinary issues.
The match will get underway at 6:30pm at the National Olympic Stadium with tickets priced at 5,000 riel for Category 2 seating and 10,000 riel for Category 1 seating. For fans unable to attend, the game will be shown live on BTV.