The Blue Tigers hold a massive advantage over the Angkor Warriors.
The Indian National Football team will need to be at their resilient best as they approach the final round of qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2023. India’s first hurdle will come in the form of Cambodia, a nation they have outshined historically. Igor Stimac’s men will have the roar of their home fans when they take to the pitch on June 8 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
India’s match against Cambodia will also mark the Blue Tigers’ homecoming for the first time in nearly three years. Coincidentally, their last home match was also at the VYBK against Bangladesh in 2019. While the result that night was as not as any Indian fans had intended, India will be confident heading into the match against Cambodia, who are in the backwaters of FIFA rankings.
India Vs Cambodia Head To Head
Historically, India have locked horns with the 171st ranked side on five different occasions before. However, official records show only four past meetings. Ahead of the crucial game on Wednesday, we take a look at the previous meetings between India and Cambodia:
Cambodia 0-4 India (September 2, 1964)
The Merdeka tournament was one of the most prestigious football tournaments in the continent between the the1950s and 1980s. The competition was played in Malaysia to commemorate their Independence Day. In the 1964 edition, India were clubbed with Cambodia in Group A alongside South Korea XI, Japan XI and Thailand. The great Chuni Goswami captained the Blue Tigers to a 4-0 victory against the Angkor Warriors, scoring his only goal in the tournament. India would go all the way to the final before losing to Burma by a solitary goal.
India 1 – 3 Cambodia (July 29, 1967)
The two sides met again in the qualification stage of the 1968 AFC Asian Cup in Rangoon, Burma. India had reached the final of the competition in the last iteration and expectations ranged high from the fans. Sea Chheang Eng scored a header from a Pen Phath pass in the 35th minute to give Cambodia the lead. 12 minutes after half-time, Sieng Tara scored a brace in a space of 3 minutes to pull Cambodia clear.
India managed to grab a consolation in the dying minutes from Mohun Bagan legend Poongam Kannan. The Blue Tigers would fail to qualify for the finals, already having lost to Burma and drawn against Pakistan. They would not qualify for the showpiece event till as late as 1984.
India 6 – 0 Cambodia (August 17, 2007)
The Nehru Cup was revived after a 10-year-hiatus in 2007. The 13-day tournament was hosted by the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. Cambodia suffered a crushing defeat in the opener against India as Bob Houghton’s men ran riot. Sunil Chhetri and Steven Dias scored a brace while NP Pradeep and Baichung Bhutia also found the net in a 6-0 rout.
Cambodia would finish bottom of the table and the Blue Tigers would trounce Syria in the final to lift their maiden Nehru Cup. They would go on to win the next two editions in 2009 and 2012 as well.
Cambodia 2-3 India (March 22, 2017)
The last meeting between the two nations was a friendly fixture in 2017. The match coincided with the memorable purple patch during Stephen Constantine’s tenure, when India won nine games on the trot.
Despite being patchy on many occasions, goals from Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sandesh Jhingan sealed the victory for the Blue Tigers. Khoun Laboravy and Vathanaka Chan scored for Cambodia.
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