Soccer

Honda’s debut as general manager of Cambodia ends in loss

Kyodo

Keisuke Honda’s first match as general manager of Cambodia’s national team ended in 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 in front of a crowd nearly at capacity. But Malaysia managed to come from behind and did not give the hosts the opportunity to score any more goals.

Honda told a news conference after the match that he was “satisfied” with the match and grasped the “strong points” of the team. He added that he was pleased with how the players followed the instructions he gave them in the past week.

He further promised to find solutions and aim for better results in future matches, declaring that Monday’s result was his responsibility.

The 32-year-old signed a two-year contract with the Football Federation of Cambodia in August, volunteering his services as general manager and de facto head coach.