Eight teams will complete the first leg of their 2011 Metfone C-League season this weekend at Olympic Stadium, while Phnom Penh Crown and National Police Commissary a week later. Apart from the usual four fixture over the weekend, league leaders Crown and second placed Naga Corp will play their eagerly anticipated league clash on Monday.
Build Bright United v Rithy Sen
Saturday June 18 - 2pm
Key players: Prum Puthsethy
& Set Kamel
Striker Prum Putsethy scored a hat-trick when BBU eliminated Rithy Sen 6-1 in last 16 round of the 2011 Hun Sen Cup, and should star once again in Meas Sam Oeurn’s side. Rithy Sen’s Set Kamel found the only answer for the Kampong Chhnang side during that match, and they will hope he will repeat his prowess in front of goal tomorrow.
BBU forwards Chan Veasna, Oum Chandara and Pich Sina should provide a relentless assault on the Rithy Sen box, while the league debutants will look for an inspirational performance from new Nigerian signing Raymond Esin.aga will look to return to the summit of the Metfone C-League with a win over Prek Pra tomorrow. Nigerian hitman Julius Oiboh has so far proved unstoppable this season and will more likely than not be on the scoresheet to reinforce his hopes of claiming the Golden Boot award.
Teab Vathanak and Meas Channa have also been terrorising defenders, and have played important roles in helping Naga amass a 25 goal tally from their last three games.
Prek Pra head coach Jack Tonye Charles is struggling to find quality in his offence, despite seeing striker Mat Hasan and midfieder Sos Souhana called up to the national team. The Prek Pra back line should expect a hard day at the office tomorrow, with Khin Voeun needing to put in a captain’s performance in defence.
Naga beat Prek Pra 5-0 and 2-1 in league matches last season.
National Defence Ministry v
Preah Khan Reach
Saturday June 18 - 4pm
Key players: Plong Chanthou &
Prak Mony Udom
The past two Hun Sen Cup winners do battle in the late kickoff tomorrow, with thr Army keen to avenge their double defeats of 4-1 and 3-1 to the Military Police-backed outfit in the league last year.
PLR’s Prak Mony Udom not only passes to perfection, but also scores freely from midfield. Khoun Laboravy and Phany I Rotha are also important figures to lift their side to victory.
For National Defence, striker Plong Chanthou should carve out chances if he can coordinate well with midfielders Chhin Chhoeun and Seung Chanvanno. Either side could claim top place with a win, before Crown and Naga lock horns on Monday.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey v
National Police Commissary
Sunday June 19 – 2pm
Key players: Silva Sunday & Tith Dina
Kirivong will put up a fierce fight on Sunday to consolidate their fifth place in the table. Silva Sunday had become an attractive player for the Takeo-based team over last few weeks, and will be a dangerous asset to bolster his side along with strike partners In Vichheka and Nelson Oladiji.
Police midfielder Tith Dina, meanwhile, has also proved himself invaluable during the campaign with fine displays of distribution and shooting. Moeung Phanith and Samut Dalin will also put pressure on the Kirivong defence on Sunday.
Chhlam Samuth v Prek Pra Keila
Sunday June 19 - 4pm
Key players: Meas Sophanna &
Chhlam Samuth are enduring a woeful run of four consecutive losses, while Prek Pra are still riding high from a stunning upset of Naga. Meas Sophanna will try to bear the weight of expectation for the Sea Sharks, who have Chhim Bunsan suspended due to his previous dismissal.
Prek Pra will continue to play with full conviction and add to their meager points tally. Philip Ali shines in almost any position and will worry the Chhlam Samuth backline while Maliki Rohan’s slick passing should dominate the middle of the park.
Naga Corp v Phnom Penh Crown
Monday June 20 - 3pm
Key players: Khouch Sokumpheak & Chhim Sambo
The Monday afternoon slot for the blockbuster between arguably the two biggest clubs in Cambodian football shouldn’t detract from the contest. Three-time league champions Crown will look to shake off their jetlag after returning from a disappointing outing at the Singapore Cup, while two-time winners Naga will wish to quickly erase their embarrassing loss to Prek Pra from memory.
A win will see Crown stay clear of the pack in the league standing and with a game in hand. Khouch Sokumpheak is, as ever, the heartbeat of his team, as Hong Ratana sits out on suspension. It remains to be seen whether caretaker coach Bouy Davy will give new Japanese recruit Takahito Ota a chance to make his league debut.
Naga’s midfield combo of Teab Vathanak, Julius Oiboh, Kop Isa, and Chhim Sambo sees the latter emerging as the best bet for a match winner if recent games are to go by.
Crown won their latest encounter, the 2010 Metfone C-League playoff semifinals last August, with a 4-2 scoreline.