Cambodia’s coach Leonardo Vitorino said failure to take their chances and a lack of concentration in possession were key factors to his side falling to a 2-1 defeat to visiting Vietnam in their AFC Cup 2019 qualifier in Phnom Penh on Tuesday evening.
“We played today to win the match and while we had chances, we didn’t take them, said the Brazilian in his post-match comments.
“This is my job and I had to do something so I tried with adding new players in the second half, but Vietnam took their chances while we did not.
“Our speed, efficiency and attitude is better than before. Today, in my opinion, we played a good match but the problem is our concentration in possession.”
Cambodia went behind early to a goal from Nguyen Quat before Chan Vathanaka levelled the score only six minutes later.
With the scores tied at half-time, Cambodian midfield enforcers Thierry Chantha Bin and Tith Dina did well to stop the impact of dangerous Vietnam midfielder Nguyen Cong Phuong.
However, Vietnam deservedly regained the lead in the 81st minute, substitute Nguyen Quang Hai scoring the match winner after rising highest in the box to bury the ball into the back of the net with his head.
Vathanaka was reflective in his assessment of the game.
“This is football and we have to accept the result, said the Boeung Ket forward.
“We all strive hard to get together in order to continue our progress for the future of football in our country.”
Meanwhile, Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung was pleased with the win, his team’s first in the group stage.
“I just started with the team, however I am happy with our performance today and I know there’s more to come from them,” he said.
“I have to thank my players for overcoming the difficulties that come with playing away from home and against a side like Cambodia.”
Cambodia sit in third in group C, a win and two losses leaving them on three points. They will have a chance to exact revenge when they travel away to Vietnam on October 10 for their fourth group match.