The 32nd edition of the South-East-Asian games has kicked off for the first time in Cambodia, with the host nation thrashing Timor-Leste 4-0 in the football part. How though did day one go and will the tournament be a success?
The 32 SEA Games, which are being branded as 2023 Cambodia pagan last night with the opening of the SEA Games football competition, with the games official opening ceremony being on May 6th.
Indonesia slam Philippines and Cambodia get revenge on tint Timor
Th opening match, which weirdly did not feature Cambodia saw Indonesia breeze past the Philippines 3-0, although they were lucky to get two injury-time goals. The main event though was Cambodia against Timor-Leste.
You can read the match report here
The match drew a near capacity 29,500 to the National Olympic Stadium and gave the chance for Cambodia to avenge their knock-out by tiny Timor-Leste at the 2022 AFF Under 22 Championship.
The home team though came out fighting and the two goals in each half don’t tell the full story of what could have been a much larger win.
To read the match report click here.
Can Cambodia successfully host the 32nd SEA Games?
Although only the opening day of the football, rather than the whole affair you have to give it to the host nation. All teams were successfully placed in hotels, an actual achievement compared to the tournaments and the day went by without a hitch.
By offering free tickets to fans they managed to fill-up the stadium and their choice to us the infamous National Olympic Stadium, a place where North Korea once knocked out Australia to reach the 1966 Wold Cup was genius.
The stadium choice seemed a strange one at first, particularly as they could have played at the “new” Morodok Techo Stadium, but playing in a smaller ground with more history and a central location undoubtedly helped the hosts.
How ill the rest of the games play out?
No one knows and there have been questions asked about the overall infrastructure, as well as specific issues, such as ease of getting “free tickets” and accommodation for athletes.
These though are likely to be just minor issues, as all games have in what is looking like it will be a stellar games.
The first major tournament since GANEFO
Another iconic an ironic part of hosting so much at the National Olympic Stadium is that this was where Cambodia last hosted a major event, namely GANEFO, or the Olympics of the Left back in the 1960’s.
To read about GANEFO click here.
To gain use the same venue proves just how far Cambodia has come along over those 60+ years and indeed where it is today, a country on the up.