As Phnom Penh Crown await coronation day next week, their penultimate outing in the Mefone C-League against last season’s champions Svay Rieng at the Olympic Stadium tomorrow may turn out to be a proxy battle between rival strikers Dzarma Bata and George Bisan for the Golden Boot.
Crown clinched the championship well ahead of time last week following their 1-0 victory over Naga Corp that gave them an unassailable seven-point lead over nearest rivals Boeung Ket Rubber Field with just two games left.
With Crown’s mission of regaining league supremacy they last enjoyed in 2011 accomplished, nothing would please the camp more than an extension of their eight-match winning streak. Their most recent result that wasn’t a victory was a 3-3 draw with Svay Rieng on May 21.
Conversely, having failed to defend their title, Svay Rieng would be keen on restoring a modicum of pride with a positive result against the new champs.
Svay Rieng hitman Dzarma Bata added his 21st goal of the season on Wednesday in his team’s 2-2 draw with Naga. He currently leads Crown’s top scorer and fellow Nigerian George Bisan by two.
The duel between these two sharp shooters could lead to some dramatic action at both ends.
Before this high profile twilight encounter, Asia Europe University and National Police jostle for better footing in the table.
Away at the Old Stadium, tail-enders Albirex Niigata and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey cross paths in a contest which is vital for the visitors from Takeo, who will be craving for a victory that will probably give them a chance to climb out of the danger zone.
The second fixture between TriAsia and Ministry of National Defence could be a tricky one with both sides being robust customers.
After their title hopes vanished into thin air following their frustrating draw with MND and Crown’s relentless march, Boeung Ket meet Build Bright United on Sunday, determined to push on for second place in the league standings.
The University-backed BBU side are by no means lightweight as their stunningly bold performance in this year’s Hun Sen Cup illustrates.
In a late evening contest, Western University face Naga.
Saturday July 19
At the Old Stadium
Albirex Niigata v Kirivong Sok Sen Chey – 1:30pm
TriAsia v MND – 3:30pm
At the Olympic Stadium
AEU v National Police – 3:30pm
PP Crown v Svay Rieng – 6pm
Sunday July 20
Boeung Ket v BBU – 3:30pm
Western University v Naga – 6pm