Cambodia – Match Report vs Philippines (20/12/2022)

Cambodia started their campaign for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup with a surprising win against the Philippines. Cambodia lined up in a 5-2-3 which was very dynamic. Out of possession, they would either play a low defensive block, which turned it into a 5-4-1, or they would try and disrupt the Philippines in their build-up making it look more like a 3-4-3. In possession, Cambodia looked very comfortable with a lot of moving players. They would often play one or two-touch football. Keisuke Honda’s side gave an absolute masterclass at times in the first half and was unlucky to be only 2-1 up at the break. Quickly in the second half, the Philippines equalized and it looked like they were taking over control of the game, but a lovely attack over the right won Cambodia the game with 3-2.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Lim Pisoth

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Cambodian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 29/08/2001
  • Club: Phnom Penh Crown
  • Career: Phnom Penh Crown
  • Position: Left Winger
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Lim Pisoth played as the left winger in Cambodia’s 5-2-3/5-4-1 formation and was crucial in progressing the ball forward. Pisoth stands at 1.70m, which is quite average if I look at the rest of the Cambodia squad. The 21-year-old isn’t the strongest in his physical duels but could stay out of most physical challenges with his excellent agility. There were a few moments where he was pushed off the ball though or thrown off balance quite easily. Pisoth looked very good on the first meters and was able to get a slight gap with his opponents. I didn’t really see his top speed throughout this match as Cambodia played very patient football looking for short combinations mostly. Pisoth made a couple of deep runs down the left which threw the Philippines’ defence off guard. In the 15th minute, he received a long pass on the edge of his opponent’s box and played a simple pass to the overlapping left wingback, Barang, who on his turn found Cambodia’s striker Bunheing in the box for the 1-0.

Pisoth mostly occupied the left halfspace though against the Philippines and was constantly in acres of space. The youngster would just drop back slightly before Cambodia’s defenders or midfielders could play an easy forward pass towards him. This was a key part of Cambodia’s possession play as they could easily progress the ball forward like this. Pisoth would then play in the overlapping wingback or find one of his midfielders. His short passing looked fine this match and he also played a couple of good switches to the right, towards Sieng Chantea, showing good awareness and vision.

On the ball Pisoth looked most promising. The Cambodian winger showed great dribbling with both feet and kept the ball very close to him in the tightest spaces. His first touches also looked very good, as he mostly only needed one touch to have full control over the ball. As I said a few times Cambodia played really patiently, but there were a few times when Pisoth could dribble at his opponent in a 1v1. One of these moments was in the 47th minute. After he received a great pass from Chanthea, he was instantly past his opponent with a lovely touch. He then cut towards his strong right foot and in my opinion deserved a penalty, even though he was kind of looking for that challenge to come.

Rating – A1

Pisoth currently plays in the Cambodian league and scored eleven goals this season in the league. I think a step too Europe is probably still too big for him, but I think he definitely could make a transfer to a bigger league in Asia.

Sieng Chanthea

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Cambodian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 09/08/2002
  • Club: Boeung Ket
  • Career: Bati Youth FA, Boeung Ket
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Sieng Chanthea played as the winger on the right against the Philippines and just like Pisoth played like a bit of a playmaker on the wing. Just like Pisoth, Chanthea would often drop back from the right halfspace and collect the ball there to play it on, to the right wingback or one of the midfielders. He scanned well and turned easily with the ball at his feet. He seemed a little less agile than his counterpart on the right, but was on his turn more comfortable in physical duels. Another similarity was Chanthea’s pre-assist for Bunheing’s second goal of the game. Chanthea’s pre-assist was a little more spectacular, in comparison to Pisoth’s, though as it was a lovely no-look pass with his left foot.

Chantea was very tidy on the ball, but didn’t look as good in tight spaces as Pisoth. I felt like this was mainly due to him not really using his left foot, as he showed some great turns with his right foot. Where Pisoth used his quick feet to try and pass opponents, Chantea often tried to flick the ball past them with a quick burst of pace, which was a pretty successful move. Chantea has quite some flair about him, which the no-look pre-assist already implied, but I don’t feel like he overcomplicated things often.

The 20-year-old had a big chance to score the 4-2 and seal the game. After a long pass from one of the midfielders, Chanthea controlled the ball with his chest and slipped past one of his opponents. The goalkeeper saved his shot from inside the box with his stretched leg though. He took a couple of shots from quite some distance, which weren’t very good.

Rating – A1

Just like Pisoth, Chanthea plays in the Cambodian league and had a very good season with ten goals and three assists. I also think that the step for him might be a bit too big right now, but he should be looking for a step up in Asia.

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