| VIENTIANE (23 Oct 2010) – With the Philippines in the driver’s seat following their resounding win yesterday, the onus will be on the other three teams – hosts Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste – to prove that they are still within a fighting chance of making the final round of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010.
Philippines sidestepped Timor Leste 5-0 while Cambodia battled to a scoreless draw against hosts Laos on the first day of this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers.
And tomorrow, Cambodia will be anxious for their first win of their campaign against Timor Leste while the Philippines will be out to gun down hosts Laos following their fabulous start in their first match.
“Our emphasis had always been on defence and after picking up the first point against the hosts, we are a little more confident that we can win it against Timor,” said Lee Tae Hoon, the chief coach of Cambodia.
“We have prepared the team well and I think that we are capable of winning a place to the next round.”
For Timor Leste, they have to pick up their game somewhat following the thrashing they suffered against the Philippines.
Assistant coach Manuel added that his team is definitely capable of playing at a higher level and they will be wanting to show it against Cambodia.
“The loss to the Philippines is not a fair reflection of our team – I think that we can play better and we will show it in the next match,” added Manuel.
“We had some problems with our preparation but that is not an excuse although I truly believe that our individual skills will make the difference against the Cambodians.”
In the meantime, the Philippines are riding on an air of confidence ahead of their match against Laos.
Head coach Simon McMenemy said that the match against Laos will be their toughest yet.
“Match against the host team is always difficult but for us, it is more important to concentrate on our own game rather than thinking of how Laos will play against us,” added McMenemy.
“It is possible that we will use the same line-up against Laos but you never know until the last possible minute.”
Following their one point last night, hosts Laos will be out to raise the level of their game when they take on the Philippines.
Head coach David Booth said that his team’s failure to convert the chances they had was the ultimate mistake.
“I think that we were consistent throughout the 90 minutes and the second half was all ours. Against the Philippines, we need to be better and start scoring goals,” added Booth.
“The Philippines are a strong physical team but I believe in my boys and what they are capable of and they will show it in their second match.”