Coach Ryu Hirose said Cambodia players have learned a lot from the 0-4 defeat against Vietnam in the last game of AFF Cup group stage Sunday.
“We were expecting a tough game, because Vietnam are the strongest team in Southeast Asia at the moment. Conceding early have affected the players,” Hirose said in the press conference on Sunday.
Although being the weaker team, Cambodia maintained their offensive playing style and tried to put pressure on Vietnam. However, that enabled Vietnam to exploit spaces in their defense line. Vietnam opened the score in the 3rd minute thanks to a goal of Nguyen Tien Linh. 24 minutes later, Linh completed his double by a cracking goal from outside the box.
Cambodia had more possession with 52 percent. But they only got six shots compared to Vietnam’s 14. In the second half, they conceded two more goals from Bui Tien Dung and Nguyen Quang Hai.
“We tried to gain possession and stick to our style of play, but the pressure from Vietnam was huge. The players made a few mistakes and lost the game. This defeat is a valuable experience for the young players. They will train harder to grow further,” Hirose added.
The 4-0 win was not enough for Vietnam to take the top group spot from Indonesia, who also have 10 points but scored more goals. Vietnam will face Thailand in the semifinals, while Indonesia play the host Singapore.
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