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Crown to play Tampines

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Phnom Penh Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak (r) hopes to lead his side to victory tonight in their RHB Singapore Cup tie against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak (r) hopes to lead his side to victory tonight in their RHB Singapore Cup tie against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Crown clash with Tampines Rovers tonight in the first round of the RHB Singapore Cup.

The match, which kicks off at the 4,000-seater Clementi Stadium at 6:45 Cambodian time, will pit the Cambodian league champions against their Singaporean counterparts in what promises to be another testing encounter for the visitors after their exit at the same stage last year.

“[There are] no injuries, everyone is fit and raring to go,” Crown media officer Andy Brouwer told the Post by email from Singapore yesterday.

“We want to do better than last season, although we know we are up against a tough and very experienced outfit in Tampines, especially their foreign contingent.”

Tampines boast a living Lion City legend in Alexsandar Duric, their talismanic captain. T

he Bosnia-born, 41-year-old goal machine, who became a nationalised Singaporean to join their national team in 2007, is the most prolific scorer of all time in the city-state.

He won numerous S.League awards and clinched two Singapore Cups during his stint with Singapore Armed Forces, with whom he netted a staggering 157 goals in 129 appearances.

Crown will have to deal with the threat of Duric and his fellow forwards without the assurance of Nigerian fullback Odion Obadin in defence, who was refused a visa for Singapore despite having previously plied his trade there and having a brother that currently plays for Gombak United.

Ghanaian star midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is also unavailable and still recovering from a leg-muscle strain suffered in Crown’s recent AFC President’s Cup group stage campaign.

Crown keeper Yok Ary and defender Vi Lika, meanwhile, will need to keep their nerves intact as they make their first trip away from their homeland.

The Cambodian team trained last night under floodlights at the stadium, having undertaken a training session at Tampines’ old ground on Monday after their arrival.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Riley at dan.riley@phnompenhpost.com

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