Wednesday’s headline-snatchers Build Bright United will cross swords with Boeung Ket Rubber Field in the first semi-final of the Hun Sen Cup football tournament this Sunday at the Olympic Stadium, followed by a battle between holders Naga Corp and National Police Commissary.
The University-backed BBU’s unexpected but deserving win over Phnom Penh Crown has brought in an element of intrigue into the equation as the Rubbermen also tread new Cup turf having failed in the past to get over the quarter-final hurdle. So the stage is set for a clash where no quarter is likely to be sought nor given.
In their own distinct styles, each has as good a shout as the other, though there is some distance between the two sides when it comes to the recent track record and past reputation.
On paper at least, Kampong Cham-based Boeung Ket hold a decided advantage as a well modulated team with notable attacking and defending prowess.
The sheer enigmatic ways of BBU, however, could well cut both ways for the side and it is evident from their form sheet that if it happens to be their day they could hold their own against the best in the business, Boeung Ket.
“It’s the first time the team reached the semi-finals in three attempts,” Boeung Ket coach Prak Vuthy told the Post.
We’re coming off our huge midweek victory over Svay Rieng and with that win behind us I believe we won’t just win our match [on Sunday], but will go on to capture the trophy.” Boeung Ket coach Prak Vuthy told the Post.
BBU assistant coach Chan Veasna, meanwhile, noted that they were stepping up their preparations ahead of the clash.
“We didn’t hold training sessions on a Saturday before, but we will do this weekend,” said Chan Veasna, adding that they had no injury concerns in the squad.
“Though Boeung Ket are the big team that have lots of experienced players and some national team stars, we will be able to get a good result if we keep playing as well as we have done since the beginning of the tournament.”
Holders face up to Police task
The floodlit fixture between Naga and Police could throw up a fierce contest, but Naga coach Prak Sovannara is striking a confident note.
“I don’t see any problems for my team. Our formation will remain the same,” he told the Post yesterday.
“Following our hard-fought 1-0 win over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, our players are a little bit tired, but that’s not a pressing concern.
“The strength I can see of our rivals on Sunday is that they are a team that has good co-ordination between players, coaches and staff,” he added.
Police coach Ung Kanyanith said: “We have prepared so hard for this game, but now we need to look closely at our opponents Naga. They are a professional team that boasts a lot of U23 players, especially in their defence. Our midfielders and attackers will be working very hard in this game to grab the victory for us.”
At Olympic Stadium
Boeung Ket v BBU – 3:30pm
Naga Corp v National Police – 6pm