Fast forward to Friday
Cambodia are the competition's underdogs and that will come sharply into focus in the first game against the holders and AFF Suzuki Cup favourites Singapore. Coached by two-time AFF Cup winner Radi Avramovic, the Singapore attack will be led by in-form Serbian striker 38-year-old Aleksandar Duric, six foot three inches tall, and top scorer in the recently completed S-League with 28 goals for the champions Singapore Armed Forces. He will definitely be a handful for the Cambodian defence which has been the team's weakest area in recent matches. It's interesting that Singapore operate a Foreign Sports Talent scheme where foreign-born players can get citizenship after 2 or 3 years of playing football in the S-League and are then eligible for the national team. Journeyman Duric has lived in Singapore for the last eight years, has plied his trade with fifteen different clubs including a long stint in Australia, where he also received citizenship, and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina in canoeing at the 1992 Olympics. As for Cambodia, they will be relying on homegrown players like Khim Borey and Sam El Nasa to get the goals to sink the Suzuki Cup favourites, but make no bones about it, it will be an uphill task and one of the Cup's biggest-ever upsets if Sovannara's team can secure a win.