Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mark your diaries

It's been very quiet on the Cambodia national football team front in recent months following their involvement in the Suzuki Cup in early December. Three defeats left the team licking their wounds but it wasn't unexpected, they were the least-fancied team in the whole competition afterall. Aside from a few mutterings and talk of bringing Khmer nationals over from France to be considered for selection, there's been a dearth of football chatter, especially about the national team. In the background, national coach Prak Sovannara has simply got on with the task of lifting his team's spirits for the forthcoming AFC Challenge Cup Qualifying Group matches in Bangladesh. Initially scheduled for early April, they have been put back until the end of next month. The two-legged pre-qualifying decider between Macau and Mongolia has at last been scheduled for 9th and 16th April and the winner of that tie will go into the group matches in Bangladesh.
With all matches to be played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, Cambodia will meet the hosts Bangladesh on Sunday 26th April, then either Macau or Mongolia on the 28th and two days later, Myanmar. Three games in six days is a tall order and both Bangladesh (174) and Myanmar (159) are higher-ranked in the FIFA list than the Cambodia team at 180th, but Sovannara is putting his players through their paces as I type, and will have benefitted from getting the squad together for nearly two months before the matches take place. He's made changes to the pool of players from whom he will select his squad of 18 players to take to the games in Bangladesh. Six players have departed including Thul Sothearith from Phnom Penh Crown and Pich Sina from Naga whilst six new faces have joined the national squad, who are currently training every morning at the National Stadium in Phnom Penh. Don't forget to mark your diaries with those three games at the end of April.



Anonymous James said...

180 is pretty low...

Is anybody ranked lower than Cambodia?

I reckon we could beat Abkhazia or maybe even the Galapogos Islands.

March 17, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

James, don't be so silly, of course there are countries ranked below Cambodia. Here is the current FIFA rankings between 170-200 with Cambodia at 180th. The Galapagos Islands don't have a football team, its populated by turtles!

170 Laos
171 Seychelles
172 Nepal
173 Mauritius
174 Bangladesh
174 Palestine
176 St. Lucia
176 Samoa
178 Belize
179 Somalia
180 Cambodia
181 Turks and Caicos Islands
182 British Virgin Islands
183 Brunei Darussalam
184 Afghanistan
185 Faroe Islands
186 Djibouti
187 Dominican Republic
188 Guinea-Bissau
189 Bhutan
190 Tahiti
190 Tonga
192 Aruba
193 Mongolia
194 US Virgin Islands
195 Andorra
196 Dominica
197 Macau
198 Timor-Leste
199 Comoros
200 Central African Republic

March 17, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous James said...

You should never underestimate a Galapagos turtle...

March 17, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I would never underestimate them in their natural environment, but they are simply crap when they try and wear football boots and play 11-a-side competitive sport. I've seen them try, they are worse than women :-) - only kidding ladies...

March 17, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

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