AFF Mitsubishi Cup 2022: Several mainstays left out of national squad

Several mainstays of the Cambodian national football team were left out from the squad that will compete in the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.
Several mainstays of the Cambodian national football team were left out from the squad that will compete in the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.
Mitsubishi Cup

Several mainstays of the Cambodian national football team were left out from the squad that will compete in the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.

Cambodia is preparing to compete in the annual tournament, which is billed as one of the most prestigious in Southeast Asia.

The latest edition of the competition, which is also known as the AFF Championship, is going to be held at different venues across the region from December 20, 2022 to January 16, 2023.

The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) announced the final list of players for the tournament two days ago.

Notable snubs include Sou Yaty and Kouch Sokumpheak of NagaWorld FC, Chan Vathanaka of Boeung Ket FC and Prak Mony Udom of Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC. 

The four players, especially Vathanaka, Udom and Sokumpheak, have made the national team numerous times in the past. 

Injuries could have forced General Manager Keisuke Honda to choose different players for the national team this time. 

Udom and Vathanaka, who were largely unstoppable during their prime, were slowed down by injuries recently.

But Vathanaka, who also played in the Malaysian Super League (MSL), saw his career rejuvenated with sterling performances the past two years. 

Vathanaka, who was MVP in the Cambodian League thrice (2014, 2015 and 2016), helped led Boeung Ket FC to the 2020 CPL title. 

Vathanaka has 77 appearances with the national team (Senior, U-19 and U-23) to date, according to records compiled by the Cambodian National Competitions Committee (CNCC). 

In recent years, Udom also saw his role with PKR Svay Rieng FC diminished with the passage of time, owing to a spate of knee injuries. 

Udom, who also played in the MSL in the past, has 87 appearances with the U-19, U-22, U-23 and Senior teams to date. 

Yaty and Sokumpheak have 120 national team appearances between them. 

The 24 players selected for the team are the following: Keo Soksela, Vireak Dara, Lim Pisoth, Seut Baraing, Choun Chanchav, Chheng Meng, Thierry Chantha Bin, Tes Sambath, Ouk Sovann, In Sodavid; Keo Sokpheng, Sa Ty, Reung Bunheing, Yeu Muslim, Orn Chanpolin, Soeuy Visal, Sareth Krya, Hul Kimhuy, Sieng Chanthea, Sos Suhana, Tang Bunchhai and Mat Noron. 

Several foreign-born Cambodian players like defender Boris Kok, who is also in Malaysia, and US-based Nick Taylor, were also selected. 

The Cambodian team is currently training for the upcoming tournament. 

Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand are in Group A, while Group B counts Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Myanmar and Vietnam. 

Cambodia’s first game will be against the Philippines on December 20 in Phnom Penh’s Morodok Techo National Stadium, followed by a match against Indonesia three days later at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

The team’s penultimate group stage encounter will be against Thailand on January 2 at the Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani.

Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the next phase of the tournament. 

As of now, Cambodia is a ‘dark horse’ among the teams playing in Group A.

This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.

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