After a heavy defeat on Thursday to Singapore, Cambodia coach Kazunori Ohara has made a remarkable turnaround prior to Tuesday’s meeting with Afghanistan at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.
Perhaps in panic-mode, Ohara has made wholesale changes to his team with numerous players dropped from the squad entirely. A number of the Kingdom’s returning U-23 side will play in their stead.
Ohara had previously, in a press conference prior to the Singapore game dismissed the possibility of members of the U-23 taking part in the Kingdom’s Singapore and Afghan fixtures. “No, this is not possible,” said the Japanese interim coach. “We will make do with what we have.”
With the U-23’s bumped out of Singapore’s SEA Games at the group stage, Ohara has called upon the likes of Prak Mony Udom, Chan Vathanaka, Samoeun Pidor and Um Sereyroth to regain some pride for his side against the visiting Afghans.
Social media was in hysterics after Phnom Penh Crown FC’s Thierry Bin was dropped from the squad entirely, much to the horror of his fans. The French-born midfielder was an integral part of the squad in 2018 World Cup Qualifying Round 1, where he scored a magnificent free-kick against Macau in the second leg.
Afghanistan, meanwhile took to the Western Phnom Penh FC pitch on Saturday afternoon to prepare for their Tuesday encounter. Like Cambodia, the visitors were thoroughly outplayed by their opponents in their first World Cup qualification game. The Afghans lost their opener on Thursday evening to Syria by a heavy 6-0 scoreline.