Melbourne Victory marquee Keisuke Honda has been unable to sprinkle his stardust on Cambodia just yet with the country losing 3-1 in a friendly meeting with Malaysia on Monday.
Honda, 32, was appointed General Manager in August and got to work during the international break.
It looked as though the Japan legend would enjoy a winning start to the new role when Soeuy Visal delighted around 40,000 fans with a first-half opener.
But the visitors fought back to net three times after the interval and leave Cambodia with some thinking to do ahead of November's AFF Suzuki Cup matches.
Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam are their Group A opponents, with the top two advancing to December's knockout rounds.
Honda's position with Cambodia runs parallel to his engagement at Victory and has received the Hyundai A-League club's blessing.
The former CSKA Moscow and AC Milan star has a footballing history with the Southeast Asian nation, opening an academy in Phnom Penh in 2016.
Honda is due to re-join his Victory team-mates for the upcoming training camp on the Sunshine Coast.