Cambodia Keeps Hong Kong in Scope

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Phnom Penh Crown mid elder Thierry Chantha Bin (23) dribbles the ball during a training session with his teammates on Saturday. KT/Yeun Punlue

With the domestic Metfone C-League on yet another hiatus to cater for national team commitments, Cambodia will travel to face Hong Kong on Thursday evening as they gear up for October’s 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers.
Cambodia has called up a host of familiar names for the practice match. Phnom Penh Crown duo Thierry Chantha Bin and Keo Sokpheng and Boeung Ket Angkor’s goalscoring titlechaser Chan Vathanaka all make the cut in yet another youthful side for the Kingdom.
Cambodia’s recent form on the international stage should be a cause for optimism, having recorded a surprise win over Singapore in a recent friendly in Phnom Penh – their first over the Lions in 40 years.
“Very good performance from my team and I can see the improvement in them,” coach Lee Tae Hoon said after the Singapore match. “Despite a long hard C-League season, they continue to show their ability in international matches and long may this continue.”
The Angkor Warriors also defeated Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) in July for an aggregate score of 4-2 to qualify for the second playoff round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification.
Thursday’s match – the first of three international matches in the Kingdom’s schedule – will serve as a vital warm-up ahead of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers, which will be hosted in the Cambodian capital in mid-October.
To secure a berth in the imminent 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup proper, Cambodia needs to progress from October’s AFF Suzuki Cup Championship qualification against Laos, Brunei and Timor-Leste.    
If coach Tae Hoon can succeed in guiding Cambodia through qualifiers, they will be pitted in Group B, known as the “group of death,” alongside Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
In Group A, Singapore and defending champs Thailand, the two most successful teams in AFF Suzuki Cup history, have been drawn together in what is sure to be an exciting clash.
Thailand and Singapore have both won the event four times. Joining them in the group are Indonesia and tournament co-hosts Philippines.
The tournament proper will be played between November 19 and December 17.
In their last qualification bid for the Suzuki Cup in October 2014, Cambodia was ejected following a 1-0 defeat by Myanmar at New Laos Stadium in Vientiane.

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