SEA Games 2023

Cambodia National Football Team Confident of Win

Cambodia national football team coach, Ryu Hirose, remains confident the squad can score a win against Timor-Leste as they prepare for tomorrow’s SEA Games’ clash on the pitch
Cambodian U-22 national team during a training ahead of match against East Timor. Kiripost via Football Federation of Cambodia
Cambodian U-22 national team during a training ahead of match against East Timor. Kiripost via Football Federation of Cambodia

The Cambodia national football team are confident they can secure a win ahead of their clash with the Timor-Leste squad on Saturday.

Cambodia’s coach Ryu Hirose said, "As the host country of Sea Games 32nd, we’re prepared for our guests to come in, we’re ready for the matches and we hope, and commit, to get good results for our country.”

Hirose went on to say that the Cambodian team enjoyed good results in the 2019 Games when they played in Group A with Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Timor-Leste. Cambodia made it through to the semi-finals against Myanmar.

“For this 32nd SEA Games, as a coach I cannot assume we will be at the semi-finals or not, but we are trying for all competitions because all teams are experienced and strong,” he added during a pre-match press conference on Friday.

According to a recent official announcement on the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) Facebook page, 20 national Cambodian athletes are selected for SEA Games’ matches. The team comprises goalkeepers, Reth Lyheng and Vireak Dara; defenders Koeut Pich, Chan Sarapich, Leng Nora, Sor Ratana, Sophal Dimong, Soeuth Nava, Taing Bunchhai, Chea Sokmeng, and Phat Sokha; midfielders Nhean Sosidan, Sin Sovannmakara, Chou Sinti, Min Ratanak, and Lim Aarun Raymond; and strikers Sieng Chanthea, Lim Pisot, and Ky Rina.

Hirose said, “Among 20, Sieng Chantea is the captain of the team because, as we have seen, he is the one who helped and supported many in previous games, even small or big matches.”

Timor-Leste coach, Park Soon Tae, said the team is excited to compete in Cambodia. “We will take this opportunity to express our work, even though we had only two to three months of training,” he added.

He added that Cambodian fans are very supportive of their national team, however, he does not feel pressure. “We already know our purpose during the competition, so we will commit together to take good results back to our home country, and we also want to see Cambodia get good results too.”

Indonesia's coach, Indra Sjafri said at the press conference, “I’m really thankful to Cambodia for the warm welcome for us, and Cambodia did good work as the host country for the 32nd Games. Before, grasses at stadiums were artificial but now are real and interesting.”

Sjafri added, “We are focusing on the first match because it’s really important to meet with the Philippines, which is also a strong team, so we cannot assume for the semi-final what team we will meet yet, even if we have a good history.”

Speaking about the Vietnamese team, he added, “We all know this 32nd SEA Games is really stressful, so Vietnam shouldn’t so confident. While in Group B, they will meet with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Laos.”

Myanmar coach, Michael Feichtenbeiner, said, “We’re happy for the 32nd SEA Games, with good preparation by Cambodia. We’re ready for the matches, even if our athletes are young and don’t have experience joining the SEA Games before.”

However, he still believes in his players and said his team respects other teams.

Philippines’ coach, Robert James Dazo Gier added, “Among all teams, our team is the latest to come to Cambodia, and we really appreciate the preparation. And, till now, our team is ready for this game, especially as many of our athletes are called from outside.”

He added that his team’s first challenge is its first match against Indonesia. “It’s [Indonesia] a strong team that has a good history of many matches, especially in the previous SEA Games, however, we hope and commit to get a good result even with other teams,” he said.