Felix Dalmas on a 1-1 draw with Hong Kong and rapid team improvement

មាស សុផាណារ៉ុង September 6, 2019


Phnom Penh: Felix Dalmas lauded his players’ courage as Cambodia came from behind to secure a massive point from a 1-1 draw with Hong Kong at home in their opening Group C match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round.

Just a quarter on the clock, Tan Chun Lok put the visitors ahead with an effort that went through Keo Soksela’s legs, but Keo Sokpheng drew level for Cambodia in the thirty-third minute after he received a great through ball from left-back Sath Rosib.

The KoupreyBlues produced a stunning second-half performance, and with their great dominance of the match they should have deserved more than just a point as second-half substitute Seang Chanthea’s nice strike was denied by the post.

Felix Dalmas’s side were beaten twice by Hong Kong in their last two international friendly matches including a 2-0 defeat at home in 2016, so last night’s 1-1 draw with a magnificent performance should be a great progress Cambodia have made.

Speaking to his post-match press conference, Felix Dalmas said: “The people [supporters] should be happy and proud of what they [players] showed inside the field. We don’t want to play like a small team or like a weak team against other teams. This is the base for Cambodia’s style. We will take the ball and take initiative, and that’s what we are pushing for.

“Even though we were 1-0 down, we still kept trying to keep the ball and have the courage to control the game, and that’s something really hard to do. Please praise the players. This is just after one year we are together and still in the process, and I will keep them better and better.

“We can hear the people, the love, and the energy, and that helps us get up. Even though we are losing, we keep encouraging each other. There’s a bright future if the fans and the players keep going like this. Thank you for coming under the rain and supporting us all the time. The strength of the team is being together.

“The rapid improvement of the team is because of the players, the work of the league little by little, and the youths. Most of Cambodian people are generous, and they work together. I think the team begins to reflect what the society is like. That’s the message I want to send.

“The players are very smart and very hard-working, and the most important thing is that they believe in what we do. This is the improvement in the process, and I can’t say it is a success yet. Hopefully, we can keep improving.

“We can still do better, but honestly they did fantastically – I’m talking about the process and the way that we play. I believe we can do better, and that’s the goal and the process we work.

“Different teams will have different sets of skills, and that will be another chance for us and another way to work. It doesn’t matter if you try and fail, but just try again and don’t put your head down. Sometimes you don’t do well, but just keep trying and trying.

“Please keep supporting the players.”


By: Sophak Huy