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Angkor Warriors gear up for Singapore clash

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A Chan Vathanaka free-kick helped Cambodia beat Singapore 2-1 in a friendly match at Olympic Stadium in 2016. Sreng Meng Srun

Angkor Warriors gear up for Singapore clash

As fifa’s international window shuts, Cambodia and Singapore will seize their last chance on Tuesday to play out an international friendly at Olympic Stadium as the two Southeast Asian nations gear up for next month’s AFF Suzuki Cup.

At a joint news conference in Phnom Penh on Monday, Singapore coach Fandi Ahmad shared the stage with his Cambodian counterpart Felix Agustin Gonzalez Dalmas, who will be in charge of the team in the absence of Keisuke Honda.

Both stuck to the theme of good team dynamics as they looked forward to a competitive, result-oriented game from which they could better size up their squads.

The Cambodia coach insisted it was imperative for the players to first fully understand and then carry out the team philosophy that management, led by Honda, has put in place.

Once the players realise their roles and responsibilities and respond to them in good measure, naturally the team gets strengthened, Argentine Gonzalez said.

The Cambodian camp has been clearly showing marked signs of a preference for youngsters to break in early so that they can combine well with established players.

Cambodia were beaten 3-1 in an earlier friendly by Malaysia, who they meet on November 8 in their cup opener, but their latest result against Timor-Leste, a 2-2 draw after a dramatic last-gasp equaliser from forward Reung Bunheing, demonstrated the team’s fighting spirit.

The game kicks off at 6:30pm and another sellout crowd is a near certainty.

Singapore head coach Ahmad, who took over a little more than four months ago, will be banking on 17 Singapore Premier League players to combine with nine who ply their trade abroad, the coach has made it abundantly clear good preparation is the key to success.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s cup warm-up, Singapore beat Mongolia and Fiji 2-0 earlier this month before drawing their latest friendly with Mauritius 1-1.

Singapore will continue their preparations with a two-week training camp in Osaka, Japan to get into top gear for their Group B opener against Indonesia on November 9.

Singaporean football has been going through a transitory phase after its internal turmoils that dramatically affected its profile, while Cambodia, by bringing in an Asian football star like Honda as general manager, has made a bold statement that the Kingdom is aiming for a stellar lift in competitive edge.

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