Cambodia defeated a Metfone C-League (MCL) Japanese XI by 4 goals to 1 on Sunday in a World Cup qualification warmup match, at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.
Goals came from NagaWorld FC Duo Kouch Soukumpheak and Teab Vathanak, Boeung Ket Angkor FC’s Khuon Laboravy and the fourth and final nail in the all-stars coffin from Phnom Penh Crown FC’s Va Sokthorn.
As crowds of supporters packed the floodlit stadium-decked in blue and red – the colors of the national team, it was the Cambodian national team who responded to the encouragement of the fans and earned a splendid 4-1 victory.
The Angkor Warriors looked pleased to be back among familiar surroundings at the newly-turfed stadium, which has undergone a long overdue renovation in recent months. State of the art artificial turf has replaced the old grass pitch, in an effort by FIFA and the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) to modernize its national stadium and bring it up to international standards.
Goalscorer Va Sokthorn, after the game, spoke glowingly of the long awaited return to the distinguished stadium.
“Very happy to have played at Olympic Stadium. The big capacity allows thousands of fans and that’s how we like it,” He said. “The [artificial] pitch, was very good, and made the touch [of the ball] very easy. It was a great first game on the new surface.”
Ohara’s men will now continue their conditioning and preparation with a number of home friendlies, leading up to the all-important June 11 World Cup qualification kickoff.
(Article contributed by Ismail Vorajee, Khmer Times)