Keisuke Honda experienced the vast highs and lows of management in quick succession on Monday night as his Cambodia side were eliminated from the AFF Suzuki Cup despite their first win under the Melbourne Victory star.
Honda is balancing his Hyundai A-League career with managing the Cambodia national team, and looked to be transferring his on-field success to the touchlines with a first victory, beating Laos 3-1.
Indeed, it was a relatively comfortable outcome with Chan Vathanaka and Prak Mony Udom's 18th- and 38th-minute strikes propelling them into a 2-0 half-time lead. Keo Sokpheng's found the back of the net on 77 minutes, quickly extinguished any hopes of a Laos comeback.
However, the victory was not enough to save their hopes of progressing out of Group A as leaders Myanmar and Vietnam played out a goalless draw.
Honda's side were left in a precarious position following defeats to Malaysia and Myanmar, and will bow out of the competition following their final match against Vietnam on Saturday night, less than 24 hours before Melbourne Victory visit Sydney FC for a double-header at Jubilee Oval.