Cambodia line-up for a team photo before their game with Timor-Leste
The second series of games in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 qualifiers took place in a sweltering Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh this afternoon - and I was just watching. Goodness knows what it was like to play in. It was Cambodia's
second game of four, coming a couple of days after their 3-2 success over Laos. Their opponents were East Timor (who also call themselves Timor-Leste), the least-fancied team in the competition. However, they played above their FIFA ranking of 200 for a large part of the game and were leading 2-0 with just 13 minutes to go before Cambodia clawed their way back into contention with a penalty. Khim Borey confidently placed his spot-kick past the keeper and less than three minutes later, Cambodia had equalised through Sun Sovannarith. Both goals were errors of judgement from the Timor captain Alfredo Esteves, who'd up to that point played a blinder. Cambodia's best player was the very left-footed Chan Rithy but he and his teammates failed to deal with a corner on the stroke of half-time and went in one goal down. The home side changed their goalkeeper at half-time and his first piece of action was to bring down a Timor striker to concede a penalty, which Timor converted to take a two-goal lead. The 2-2 scoreline was a fair result though Cambodia nearly snatched victory in a frantic last five minutes when Sina headed against the crossbar.
In the game that followed, Brunei surprised a Philippines team with an early goal and as an attacking force looked very dangerous, but defensively they were inept and their stronger opponents equalized before half-time. At that point I left the ground but the scoreline remained unchanged in the 2nd half. Cambodia face the Philippines in their next game on Thursday (kick-off 4pm) followed by Brunei on Saturday (2pm).
Cambodia kick off the 2nd half in front of a good crowd Cambodia on the offensive against Timor-Leste at the Olympic Stadium today With 8 seconds to go, the scoreboard shows the 2-2 result All left foot, Cambodia's wide midfield star, Chan Rithy after today's game