With the wind of revival at their back, Ministry of National Defence will be jostling for a better position in the Metfone C-league standings now that they have seen a bit of daylight following their mid-week win over National Police.
The Army men run into former champions Phnom Penh Crown in Sunday’s feature game at Olympic Stadium, having won only once in the past five head-to-head battles between the two.
In their last meeting early this season, Crown had decisively beaten MND 2-0. So the form line is clearly in favour of the casino-backed side to land the spoils and consolidate their chances of a Super 4 playoffs berth.
Dutch striker Elroy van der Hooft has already fired seven goals for Crown after getting into the side midway through the season. The team will again be relying on Hooft’s magic boot to haul them past a robust MND, who on their day can trouble the best with their rugged style of play.
Meak Chhordaravuth, with four goals so far to his credit, has come good for the Army in two vital wins that has helped the side strongly push back demotion worries, at least for the time being. Nothing would please MND coach Op Sam An more than a good showing by his squad in their back to the wall fight for a better placing.
Firmly holding on to their second slot behind league leaders Boeung Ket Rubber, Svay Rieng should feast on their known strengths against the bottom-most Senate Secretariat, who have so far been nothing but easy meat, when the two sides take the pitch at 4pm on Sunday.
A win would help Svay Rieng kick away from teams fast closing in on them.
Tomorrow’s program of three games will be dominated by the contest between two teams of near-equal strength, National Police and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey. This standout Olympic Stadium fixture at 2pm holds out the promise of a tough affair.
The Police have plenty of ground to make to keep their Super Four hopes alive, while the visitors from Takeo, who have so far run a good campaign this season, need to build on their impressive work.
Boeung Ket Rubber Field, who were freewheeling in front until Wednesday’s rude jolt, remain unbeaten though their winning run was ended, ironically, by one of the two teams now battling for survival in the league, Asia Europe University. The 2-2 draw, coming on top of Boeung Ket’s 10 wins in a row, should be a timely reminder for the team to take one good look at the chasing pack and keep their solid lead going.
Boeung Ket will take on Build Bright United at 4pm. Unless Boeung Ket allow Wednesday’s shenanigans to return, the 2012 champs should see the University-backed side off without much ado.
The only game at Old Stadium tomorrow will be a stern test for Naga Corp at 3pm when they cross paths with AEU, who can now boast of causing a flutter of sorts following their fighting draw with the table toppers.
After blowing a 3-1 lead and eventually settling for a 3-3 deadlock with Svay Rieng last week, Naga desperately want the feel of a good win to avoid a late season scramble for one of the top four spots.
Right now the team is not without anxiety that they may well miss the four-team frame if they keep sliding down from prominent positions the way they have done in the past few games.