Cambodia record their first Group A win in the AFF Suzuki Cup after they put three goals past Laos at the National Olympic Stadium last night, with the Kouprey Blues’ captain Visal Soeuy dedicating the victory to all Cambodian people.
Vathanaka Chan netted his second goal of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup to give Cambodia the lead before Monyudom Prak extended the home side’s lead to 2-0 from the penalty kick just nine minutes before the half-time break.
Despite their great dominance of the match, Cambodia conceded a goal as Vanna Bounlovongsa pulled one back for Laos in the seventy-sixth minute before Sokpheng Keo scored Cambodia’s third goal to secure a deserved 3-1 win.
Visal Soeuy, who have played two hundred and seventy minutes in this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup campaign, explained Laos’ goal due to his side’s tiredness and lack of concentration in the second half.
The center-back, who has been offered a national team captain armband by Cambodia manager Keisuke Honda, is very excited to captain the Cambodia National Team in the biggest football tournament in the Southeast Asia.
Despite last night’s superb victory over Laos, Cambodia can’t advance to the semifinals, but the Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng man is hopeful to beat Group A toppers Vietnam in Cambodia’s final group-stage match.
Visal Soeuy told TheMorning: “Our three points from last night’s win is for our supporters, who always stay behind us and have faith in us. They never give up on us, so I hope it is a good gift for them before the Water Festival. It’s also for all our Cambodian people and especially my family, who always come to support me and the team.
“I think a 3-1 win over Laos is a great victory for us, and it’s a deserved win as we did really well. We will try our best in the next game. Even though we can’t advance to the next stage, we will still try to win for our nation.
“We have learned from our two defeats in a row, and we had tried to fix our problems prior to the game with Laos. Three points from Laos is very important for us and especially our supporters. It’s our first win, but we will work harder for the next game.
“We conceded one goal against Laos as we were tired, and we also lost concentration a little bit. We need to be more focused, and it is what we need to improve. We, however, did a great job.
“I’m excited and very happy to captain the team. No words can describe such a great feeling, and it’s unbelievable.”
Photo of Visal Soeuy (in blue, No. 5) courtesy of Football Federation of Cambodia