Football: Keisuke Honda tastes defeat in 1st match as general manager of Cambodia

Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda’s first match as the general manager of the Cambodian national team ended with a 3-1 loss to Malaysia in an international friendly on Monday.

Honda, who will continue his playing career with Australian club Melbourne Victory, communicated with the players using hand gestures in the rain at National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia scored the opening goal before halftime in a rain-delayed match at an almost-full stadium. But Malaysia managed to come from behind and did not give Honda’s team the opportunity to score any more goals.

Honda told a press conference after the match that he was «satisfied» with the match and grasped the «strong points» of the team. He said he was pleased with how the players followed the instructions he gave them in the past week.

He said he will find better solutions and gun for better results in future matches, as he sees himself accountable for Monday’s outcome.

The 32-year-old Honda signed a two-year contract in August as the general manager of Cambodia’s team, and has led it in training since Sept. 4.

At a press conference held a day before the match, Honda promised that within the next two years he will try his best to help the Cambodian players reach a higher level of play.

Honda has said he will mainly contribute to the Cambodia team in an online capacity due to his contractual obligations elsewhere.

All — Kyodo News+

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