Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia face Chinese Taipei in playoff



Cambodia face Chinese Taipei in playoff

Cambodia face Chinese Taipei in playoff

Cambodia face Chinese Taipei on Thursday in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying playoff at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung City.

The Angkor Warriors, who are among 10 nations eager to take a step closer to qualifying for the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, will face Chinese Taipei in the return fixture at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium on June 7.

The reward for the five winners of these double headers is a place in the third round of the qualifying process.

The losers, on the other hand, will join Bhutan for another round of playoffs on September 6 and October 11 to fight for three more slots on offer for elevation to round three.

The mood in the Cambodian camp on the eve of the team’s departure to Taipei was upbeat following a confidence-enhancing 2-0 win over Timor Leste in an international friendly on Sunday.

But as coach Lee Tae Hoon indicated after the game that he is not going overboard on it, though he did acknowledge the benefit of hard work as a good build up for a crucial fight against a decidedly stronger opposition.

Interestingly, Chinese Taipei and Cambodia share a common thread of history in that both sides made it to the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in 2015 for the first time.

While both teams were all the wiser for that experience of playing at that elevated level in the Asian zone, neither could pick up a single point in their double-round group games.

Despite finding themselves often out of depth during that year-long qualifiers campaign, the Cambodian team enjoyed several inspiring moments, especially in the hard-fought away loss to Singapore and in restricting four-time Asian Cup-winners Japan to a narrow victory

Aggressive show against Thailand

“If some of our key players use that invaluable experience and play to their full potential we have a good chance of coming through this tie,” said Lee Tae Hoon.

The return earlier this year of Toshiyaki Imai as the head coach in his second stint with the Chinese Taipei side after a gap of nine years bodes well for the team since the Japanese tactician was given full credit for changing the face of the country’s football when he first assumed charge of the national team in 2005.

The home side did show its fighting qualities in a couple of matches involving stronger Southeast Asian giants during their cup qualification run.

The one that stood out was against Vietnam. The game was evenly poised at 1-1, before Chinese Taipei conceded the match winner in stoppage time.

Of greater significance was the side’s aggressive show against Thailand in a game where Chinese Taipei led their rivals twice before the four-time ASEAN champs slammed in two goals in as many minutes to seal the deal.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’