Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cambodia down but not out

The Cambodian team in red kit before their match against the Philippines today
As expected, Philippines gave Cambodia their sternest test of the Suzuki Cup football qualifying competition this afternoon, and Cambodia failed the test. In a tight game at the Olympic Stadium, the visitors ran out 3-2 winners, using their height advantage and football know-how to good effect, as well as their multi-national line-up that included a handful of players who ply their trade in England, Holland, Denmark, USA and a few from the Philippines! Cambodia were plucky and took the game to their opponents from the kick-off with Sam El Nasa heading the opening goal after 15 minutes. The Filipinos equalised five minutes later through Alex Borromeo and as half-time approached took the lead through one of the British contingent, West Brom's Chris Greatwich. Not to be outdone, Nasa took Cambodia into the interval all square, and the big crowd into raptures, with a good finish after a set-up by the busy Chan Rithy. In a close-fought second-half, Philippines got the decisive third goal after ten minutes through AFC Wimbledon striker Chad Gould and withstood some late pressure from the home side to edge the result and leave the qualification wide open. Cambodia still have a chance to go through in Saturday's final pool matches though they will have to tighten up their defence considerably, find some extra stamina and take their chances when they're presented. Make sure you are at the Olympic Stadium at 2pm this coming Saturday for the nail-biting finale against Brunei - it's a must-win game for Cambodia.
The Philippines (white) and Cambodia (red) teams listen to the national anthems
The two teams take the field for this afternoon's qualifying match. Cambodia in red kit.
The entrance ticket for the game. Cost = 2.5 US$


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