Cambodia U-22 coach: We can win over Vietnam and Thailand to qualify for semi-final

Despite suffering a defeat in their opening match at the SEA Games, Cambodia U-22 football team coach Leonardo Vitorino has aimed at rebounding against both strongest group contenders Vietnam and Thailand to earn a ticket to the semi-final.

Since taking over the coaching job, Vitorino has boasted a series of tumultuous results for Cambodia U-22, including a goalless draw with China and a 1-0 win over the Philippines at last month’s U-23 Asia qualification.

“Vietnam U-22 are stronger, but it does not mean they are invincible. We will play with our highest determination. The chance for us to qualify for semi-final will be retained if we overcome Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia,” the 43-year-old Brazilian said in a press conference on Wednesday, as quoted by

In addition, Vitorino also expressed his belief in the prospects of Cambodian players in the near future.

“Cambodian football have developed a six-year plan from now to 2023, with the aim of preparing for the 2023 SEA Games, in which the country will serve as the host country. Therefore, the young players will be fully invested to win the first football gold medal in their SEA Games history,” he added.