Cambodia face Vietnam in their final Group A match away from home this evening as it is likely a long ninety-minute match for them against one of the favorites to clinch the AFF Suzuki Cup championships this year.
Cambodia, who have already crashed out of the tournament, had a poor start to the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign after they were beaten in their first two Group A matches, losing 0-1 to Malaysia and 1-4 to Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Vietnam are unbeaten after three group-stage matches with two wins over Laos and Malaysia before being held to a goalless draw against Myanmar, having equal points with Group A toppers Myanmar and one point ahead of third-placed Malaysia.
Vietnam, who won the AFF Suzuki Cup championships in 2008, need three points from Cambodia to make sure they finish Group A on top and continue their unbeaten run in the tournament.
Therefore, Coach Park Hang Seo’s side will hand Cambodia a tough night in Vietnam with their effective attack that has already earned them five goals in three matches as they have yet to concede any goals.
Against Vietnam, Cambodia need to be well-organized in their defense if they don’t want to concede many goals as they did in 2017, when they were demolished 5-0 in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Cambodia coach Felix Dalmas may deploy a defensive tactic against the home side and wait for a chance to play a quick counter attack as left-back Rosib Sath and forward Vathanaka Chan could be the keys in Cambodia’s attack with their pace.
However, Bunheing Rong, who has made two starts in Cambodia’s three group-stage matches, could be another important player who should return to Cambodia’s lineup after he was not used in Cambodia’s 3-1 success over Laos on Tuesday.
The Ministry of National Defense man, who has been criticized by the fans after he missed out a number of good chances against Malaysia and Myanmar, is by far one of the most hard-working players in the Cambodia National Team.
The forward has not bagged his AFF Suzuki Cup goals yet in his two appearances for Cambodia, though he got involved in Cambodia’s first goal of the tournament after he made a great through ball to Suhana Sos, who delivered a lovely low cross inside Myanmar’s box for Vathanaka Chan to score in Cambodia’s disappointing 4-1 defeat.
Bunheing Rong may not be Cambodia’s dangerous forward, but he is an important player to be deployed to help improve the team’s defense through his physical strength and stamina as he can also make space for Cambodia’s hotshot Vathanaka Chan.
Photo courtesy of Football Federation of Cambodia