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Important win for Timor Leste: Alcantara


05-Oct-2012
Yangon: Timor Leste coach Emerson Alcantara expects his team to receive a lot more respect after their 5-1 demolition of Cambodia in the opening game of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Qualifying Round on Friday.

The Timorese entered the match at the Youth Training Centre with a winless record in their previous 15 games in the Asean Football Championship but two goals each by Murilo de Almeida and Adelino Trindade and an Alan Leandro penalty gave them the perfect start in the qualifiers.

Timor Leste have been the competition’s traditional whipping boys but Alcantara feels that his side can now be considered as legitimate contenders to take one of the two spots available in the Final Round.

“This was an important win for the people of Timor Leste. The results at the tournaments before this were not so good so maybe there was not much respect for the Timorese team before. But after this game, I think that people will respect us much more,” said the Brazilian.

“As for me, I am happy with the result but I am more happy with the discipline and the good tactics that we showed today. Cambodia were very good in the first 15 minutes and they played some good football so we focussed more on playing on the counterattack and we did very well.

“I was very pleased with the performance because all of my players are together and we are one family. Even if we had only won 1-0, I would have been pleased.”

The physical presence of Alan and Murilo was a key factor against the smaller-built Cambodians but Alcantara did not want to read too much into that for his team’s upcoming matches in the five-team competition that will determine two spots in the Final Round.

“Of course, having good physical size is very important but it doesn’t always win you games because you have to have skill and good touch as well. Today, it may have helped us against Cambodia but it was still a good performance by the players," he said.

The only consolation for Cambodia was a stoppage-time penalty by Keo Sokngon as they were comprehensively beaten in their first competitive match under Hok Sochetra.

“It was a difficult game for us today. There were a lot of new players in the Timor Leste side who had a lot of experience and are very good while my players are quite young,” said former striker Sochetra.

“I think that my players also lost some confidence when they saw how big their players are. They are still young and inexperienced at this level, so it was a big problem for the team.

“All we can do now is just to try to get a good recovery now so we can be ready for our next game.”