Cambodia stunned Hong Kong with a last gasper equalizer to snatch a draw from the clutches of defeat, despite also missing a penalty in the last ten minutes of the game. And while it might have finished 1-1, that in no one tells the whole story.
Despite five previous encounters Cambodia have never beaten Hong Kong and not just that, but Coach Felix has yet to win a full match since his return to the team. So, despite this officially being a friendly there was at least some pressure going into the game with Coach Felix telling BPVE ““Playing against strong teams are the types of challenges that we want to take on in order to improve. Of course we want to win, but that’s not the only indicator of improvement. We are getting better everyday—I can see it. Above all, we will do our best to represent the Cambodian jersey”
First-half – Cambodia 0 Hong Kong 1
Things though were not to start well for Cambodia with Hong Kong coming out the stronger team and taking a deserved lead in the 21st minute when striker striker Everton Camargo powered home a superb free-kick.
For a time after this it looked like it might be a Hong Kong whitewash with Cambodia getting few chances on goal and Hong Kong overall being the better side.
Second-half Cambodia 1 Hong Kong 1
One cannot be quite sure what Coach Felix said during the interval, but whatever it was it seemed to work, with the hosts coming out with a new vigor and energy. Cambodia were far and away the stronger side for the next 30 minutes, but try as they might they could not score.
Hopes were then raised in the 84th minute when Cambodia were awarded a deserved penalty. The crowd waited with bated breath only for Chan Vathanaka of Boeung Ket to put the ball over the bar. At thus point it would have been easy for Cambodia to have thrown in the towel, but they continued battling into the dying seconds, where they were then rewarded with a scrappy gaol from defender Sin Sophanat to leave the match 1-1
What did we learn?
OK it was not the exact result that we wanted and things will have to get better, but there is a new energy and bounce to the team since Coach Felix took over, not to mention a fighting spirit. It might have just been 1-1, but Cambodia can be proud of their performance.
And not just the team, but the Cambodian fans, as well as organizers can also be proud. The total attendance was 21667, more than we averaged at the SEA Games.
There was also music, food, drinks and a real party atmosphere that made this more than just a football match, but an event that the FFC and CPL can rightly be proud of.
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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