Cambodia will employ a different strategy for today’s clash against Chinese Taipei in the second leg of the Asian Cup Qualifiers playoff at the Olympic Stadium than the one it used when the teams played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg last week, according to coach Lee Tae Hoon.
It would be too dangerous for the Angkor Warriors to play defensively to safeguard their slight advantage of two away goals and rely on a favourable draw, he told a press conference in Phnom Penh that was also attended by Toshiyaki Imai, the Chinese Taipei coach.
“We cannot get into this game with that kind of mindset. A victory would give us a place in the final qualification round and a chance to play with some of the best teams in the region. We need to keep a positive attitude and do our best to win”, Lee Tae Hoon, Cambodia’s second longest serving foreign football coach, told the Post on the sidelines of the media event.
“Away matches are difficult but for us this home game is even more so because of the huge expectations from a crowd that would be upwards of 50,000. At the same time, support of this scale from the stands is also a big motivating factor,” said the South Korean tactician, who first took charge of the national team in 2010 and is now into his third term.
“It is a very difficult match for us,” said Toshiyaki Imai. But he acknowledged that the crowd factor was a big challenge for his side which is also faced with injury concerns surrounding a few key players.
When pressed for names and the extent of the injuries, the Japanese coach said: “It is a secret. You can find out yourself from the list tomorrow.”
Responding in kind, Lee Tae Hoon also implied he was sworn to secrecy. He refused to divulge information on the possible replacements for Chantha Bin Thierry, who is serving a one-match suspension following his red card in the first leg.
In sharp contrast to the few hundred people who were scattered around the National Stadium in Kaohsiung for the first leg, 50,000 fans are expected to be packed into the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh today, not to mention those watching the public screening at NagaWorld and the tens of thousands around the country who will be glued to the local channel BTV. Kick-off is at 7pm today.