Phnom Penh: Prak Mony Udom insists that Tuesday’s AFF Suzuki Cup Group A clash with Laos is Cambodia’s “big chance” to get three points as the Angkor Warriors look to maintain their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.

Cambodia lost narrowly at home to Malaysia in their opening game of the campaign before surrendering a 1-0 lead in Myanmar to succumb to a 4-1 defeat. They now return to Olympic Stadium in the hope of securing a first win of the tournament.

The game sees the group’s bottom two sides face off, with Laos having lost three from three and had their elimination confirmed already. Udom, meanwhile, scored on his last appearance against the Laotians in a 2-1 win that ultimately sealed qualification to the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.

“I think tomorrow’s game is very important for us to try and get our first three points and, as hosts, I think there is a big chance for us,” admitted the forward.

“The fans will offer us a lot of encouragement and that helps us to reach our best level – the more of them that turn up in the stadium, the more motivation we have."

Cambodia have undergone dramatic changes in the past few months, with Japan’s Keisuke Honda taking over the head coach role alongside Argentine Felix Dalmas.

While results have not yet gone their way, the Angkor Warriors have shown signs of improvement but, although performances have been on the whole good, they are desperately seeking the feel-good factor a win would bring.

“I think there has been a lot of improvement in our game, we are playing close to our best and there is good unity in the team,” said Udom.

“We have new training routines [under Honda] as he has learnt a lot playing all over the world. We are trying to learn from him and adapt to the way he wants us to play.

“There are still many areas where we can get better, but he always gives us advice on how we can improve our weak points.”

Cambodia are competing in their seventh AFF Suzuki Cup, but haven’t won a game since the 2002 edition, something they hope to rectify on Tuesday.

Udom was part of the side that twice took the lead against Malaysia in the 2016 competition, only to end up losing 3-2 as they were denied a famous victory.

“That game was one of the highlights of my career with Cambodia as we were trying to win our opening game and get three points,” added Udom. “It was a great experience because we played so well but just missed out on the win.”