Cambodia’s Kouprey national football team have sadly been knocked out of World Cup qualification after being defeated by Pakistan in the second leg of their two-game match up on October 17.

The team lost 1-0 to Pakistan at the Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad, Pakistan

after a goalless draw at home during the first leg on October 12 in the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, despite the addition of two new foreign players – utility Yudai Ogawa and striker Cameron Privat Mbarga – to the squad.

On the present Yudai Ogawa and Privat Mbarga to the team

Ahead of the match, head coach Felix Dalmas made it clear that he did not believe the their presence would hurt the chances of domestic players – or Cambodia’s results – but rather that they would become an important part of helping the national team develop.

He described both Yudai and Priva as true career players, who each possess excellent qualities on and off the pitch. Even though they were new to the national team, they have played in the Cambodian league for more than five years. With almost a decade of playing in Cambodia, Privat has an excellent understanding of the Cambodian style of play, and can play as a mid-fielder, as well as a forward.

“Yudai and Privat are experienced and have a wealth of experience playing alongside Cambodian players. Their participation in the team will not have a negative impact on the results, nor affect or cost the domestic players their chances. In contrast, their dedication is to the Kingdom, as they have both become Cambodian citizens. They will represent Cambodia well,” he said.

“We are a strong team. As I have said before, our FIFA Ranking does not represent our quality. Therefore, we have prepared well, and I think all of our players understand their responsibilities and the meaning of wearing the uniform,” he added.

“We have both new and old players. They are all equally encouraged the same way. We will do our best to play well and bring pride to all Cambodians,” he continued.