Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic admitted feeling a little uneasy playing against Cambodia despite his side earned a 2-0 victory in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers on Tuesday.
Cambodia put up superb performance in Phnom Penh and thwarted several sharp attempts thanks to a great display in goal by Um Sereyroth, who also saved a Shinji Okazaki penalty.
The Blue Samurai finally took their lead in the 51st minute when Khoum Laboravy headed into his own net before Keisuke Honda doubled the score in the final minute of the game.
“They’re fighters,” said the 63-year-old Bosnian tactician of Cambodia, 133 places behind his side in the FIFA world rankings.
“They tried to counter-attack us. I’m not satisfied with the result. I saw some confusion in the first half. We want more goals than this.”
The victory leaves Japan remain top of the Group E and are now all-but certain of a top-two place after Syria beat Singapore in their second-versus-third clash.