Host Cambodia beat Laos 3-2 on Friday and earned a 2-2 draw on Sunday with East Timor in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup qualifying round at Olympic Stadium.
In Friday’s match against Laos, forward Khim Borey scored the first goal for the Cambodian side in the first half’s 26th minute in front of 15,000 screaming spectators, but Laotian Phayvanh Louanglah evened things out with an easy free kick in the 30th minute.
Cambodian Sam El Nasa once again put the host team in the lead with a goal in the 45th minute, and defender Sun Sovannarith added another in the 55th minute.
Laotian Chandalaphone Liemvisay found the net with a header in the 78th minute, but the Lao squad was fought off for the remainder of the match.
Friday’s match was the first win for new Cambodian national team coach Prak Sovannara, who replaced the South Korean coach, Yoo Kee-heung, who was sacked in July.
“It was a tough match,” Prak Sovannara said in a press conference after the game. “Even though we took the lead, Laos could still attack back,” he said.
“As you know, Lao team was the strongest among the five teams,” Prak Sovannara said, referring to the teams in the group: Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, East Timor and the Philippines. The five countries are playing until Oct 25 to gain entry to December’s Suzuki Cup, hosted jointly by Thailand and Indonesia.
Sunday’s match was against a younger East Timor squad, and Cambodia had been expected to walk away with a win, but had to settle for a draw.
Anggisu Barbosa gave East Timor the lead in the first half’s 45th minute despite repeated attacks by Cambodia. Jose Joao Rodrigues Pereira earned East Timor another goal in a penalty kick in the 66th minute. But Khim Borey answered with a penalty kick score for Cambodia in the 77th minute, closely followed by another goal by Sun Sovannarith.
“To get two goals back was really great,” Prak Sovannara said after the match. “We had some missed chances; that’s our bad luck,” he said.