Build Bright United’s Nhim Sovannara (right) tries to boot the ball off the chest of National Defence Ministry’s Plong Chanthou during their 2011 Hun Sen Cup semifinal. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
With excitement of the successful hosting of 2011 AFC President’s Cup group matches still fresh in the memory, Olympic Stadium welcomes the Metfone C-League back on its hallowed turf with four games spanning the weekend.
Rithy Sen v Nat. Police Commissary
Saturday May 28 - 2pm
The two newly promoted sides meet for the first time in the top tier.
Police had defeated Rithy Sen 3-0 in the final of last year’s Division A1 playoff, which confirmed the start of a winless run for the Kampong Chhnang based outfit. From five league matches this year, they have conceded 33 goals for just 2 in reply.
The back line are unsurprisingly the busiest men for Rithy Sen, and defenders Meach Sineth, Ly Rorny and Ly Rorhim will need to work their socks off to avoid another rout tomorrow.
Police have shown little intimidation in making the step up this year and currently reside in the safety of 6th place with 7 points. Coming off a 3-1 loss to Preah Khan Reach, tomorrow will provide a good occasion for Samuth Dalin, Tith Dina and Man Ritavann to fire the side to a comfortable victory.
Chhlam Samuth v Naga Corp
Saturday May 28 - 4pm
Foreign players from both sides have provided the best performance in previous matches, so watch out for the likes of Naga’s Nigerian hotshot Julius Oiboh, who’s netted seven times in his last three appearances. Three victories on the trot have lifted Naga to third on 12 points.
For Chhlam Samuth, Nigerians Paul Olabode and Sanny Dauda exploit their compatriot link while young Cambodian striker Meas Sophanna has yet to find a clinical touch. Despite a promising start to the campaign, the Sea Sharks are wallowing in 8th place on 7 points.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey v PP Crown
Sunday May 29 - 2pm
Crown’s Croatian coach Bojan Hodak kept many of his top men on the bench for their AFC President’s Cup clash with Kyrgyzstan champs Neftchi on Wednesday, in lieu of their league game with Kirivong. Kouch Sokumpheak, Chan Chhaya and Kingsley Njoku should all be relatively fresh to star for the league leaders, who are the only team left unbeaten this year.
Crown midfielder Tes Sophath, who played a full game against Neftchi, could may be brought on to face the team he captained last season.
Kirivong lurk in fourth spot in the table on 10 points after recording a 3-1 win over Chhlam Samuth last time out. They will have it tough against the might of Crown, but with good support from Meak Chhordaravuth and In Vichheka, their Nigerian striker Nelson Oladiji will attempt to increase on his seasonal haul of 7 goals.
Last season, Crown won 1-0 in their first meeting, before Kirivong took revenge with a 3-2 reversal.
Build Bright Utd v Nat. Def. Ministry
Sunday May 29 - 4pm
National Defence Ministry will not have forgotten their 2-1 ouster to BBU in the semifinals of the 2011 Hun Sen Cup. The Army men have bounced back well in the league to claim second on 12 points, and seem to be improving with each game. Strikers Phlong Chanthou and Phoung Soksana displayed fine finishing during their last two fixtures, while Chhin Chhoeurn and Soeung Chan Vanno commanded well from midfield.
BBU haven’t recreated their impressive run in the Cup with a poor start to the league including just four points from five matches. They will rely on midfielders Oum Chandara and Chan Veasna to contain the Army assault.