If you haven’t heard of Chan Vathanaka, you are missing out on a lot. The man has been pivotal to the national team’s success since bursting on to the international scene in 2013.
The 24-year-old has had a glittering career in his native land already and is hoping to take some of that success into the AFF Suzuki Cup with Cambodia, as they look to try and upset the odds in a tournament for the best in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia take on Malaysia in the tournament’s curtain raiser today, and while most believe Malaysia have the resources at their disposal to pick up an early victory, Vathanaka believes otherwise.
Speaking before the game, ‘CV11’, as he is known, has spoken of his team’s chances in their first match of the competition.
“I believe that we have a higher chance of winning this match because we play at home and we have all our fans behind us,” the forward mentioned.
If Cambodia are going to pull off a memorable win, they need Vathanaka to be at his best, unlike the form he has shown in failed stints in Malaysia and Japan. Now back at his beloved Boeung Ket in the Cambodian League, CV11 is aiming to bring back the days of the past when he was prolific for the side and won plenty of plaudits for his performances.
Vathanaka once scored eight goals in one game for the team, the highest of any Cambodian-born player in the league, and ended a successful period of his career at Boeung Ket with an astonishing 116 goals in 90 matches. While he has flattered to deceive in subsequent trips to Fujieda MYFC and Pahang, an opportunity presents itself at the AFF Suzuki Cup with his very own country of birth.
If Vathanaka fires for Cambodia, we could be looking at a very interesting Group A at the Suzuki Cup.