Thursday, December 3, 2009
As you might expect, if you look at Cambodia's past football record in the SEA Games, everyone and their dog has written them off, mentioning them in the same breath as Timor Leste, which is pretty galling after I watched Timor roll over and die a painful death last night, losing 11-nil to a competent Malaysia team. And Sunday will tell us whether its fair to mention the two teams in the same sentence, when they meet at the new national stadium here in Laos. If you ask me, Cambodia will murder Timor. However, Cambodia's SEA Games history in football doesn't make pretty reading: Played 30, won 3, drawn 3, lost 24. Their last win came against Myanmar, 3-1, twelve years ago. In 2007 they narrowly lost to Indonesia 3-1 in their opening match but heads dropped and they caved in to Thailand 8-0 and Myanmar 6-2 in their final two matches. Scott O'Donell was in charge in 2007 and will make sure that doesn't happen again. So what have the coaches from the other nations been saying about Cambodia? - not much as they've written them off already. Malaysia's coach K Rajagopal has said," on paper I know everyone expects us to roll over Timor Leste but I have warned my boys not to underestimate any of the opponents, including Timor Leste and Cambodia. No team must be taken lightly, even Timor and Cambodia, as we simply do not know what they have in store for us." Vietnam's Portuguese coach Henrique Calisto has told the Vietnam press that he expects his team to secure victories over East Timor and Cambodia, whilst Steve Darby, the Thailand coach, has predicted a Thailand v Vietnam final, leaving everyone else in their wake. No one has heard a peep out of the Timor Leste coach, Manuel da Costa Soares.