Cambodia brave in narrow World Cup qualifying defeat to Bahrain

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Cambodia produced another creditable display in the second round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup but had nothing to show for their efforts after losing 1-0 to Bahrain.

Having opened their Group C campaign last Thursday with a 1-1 draw against Hong Kong – game which they dominated and perhaps should have won – the Cambodians faced a far tougher test on Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium against a Bahrain outfit that had reached the Round of 16 at AFC Asian Cup 2019.

And the hosts certainly gave a good account of themselves having started the brighter of the two teams, showing plenty of initiative going forward although Bahrain were rarely really threatened.

As the game wore on, it then looked as though Cambodia might be content to settle for a share of the spoils, but there was still time for one final twist in the 78th minute.

A Bahrain corner saw Cambodia goalkeeper Keo Soksela come off his line but palm the ball away only as far as to Kamil Al-Aswad, who instinctively fired away a shot back towards goal and sent it nestling into the back of the net for his second goal in as many games, which proved enough to claim the three points.

CAMBODIA: Keo Soksela, Sareth Krya (Ken Chansopheak 76’), Ouk Sovann, Soeuy Visal, Cheng Meng, Orn Chanpolin, Sos Suhana, Sath Rosib (Yeu Muslim 84’), Sieng Chanthea (Hoy Phallin 58’), Keo Sokpheng.

BAHRAIN: Sayed Jaffer, Sayed Redha Isa, Ahmed Bughammar, Abdulla Al-Haza’a, Waleed Al-Hayam, Ali Haram, Sayed Dhiya Saeed (Abdulwahab Al-Malood 73’), Jasim Al-Shaikh, Kamil Al-Aswad, Sami Al-Husaini (Ismail Abdullatif 66’), Abdulla Yusuf Helal (Issa Ali Jihad 86’).

Photo credit: Asian Football Confederation