Boeung Ket’s unexpected but deserving success last week as Metfone C-League toppers has earned them a place in the prestigious Toyota Mekong Club Championship (TMCC).
Even as the side focuses its ambition on clinching the Cambodian Championship at the end of the month, Boeung Ket are doing the miles in preparation for their TMCC first-round fling on Saturday in Vietnam.
The Cambodian hopefuls have several credit-worthy moments in this event having made the final once and are ready to seize upon the timely chance to stake their claim again.
The invitation could not have come at a better time, days into a celebratory week under circumstances they could have hardly envisaged.
Now the reality of that “unlikely” success takes them to Hanoi’s Hang Day Stadium where they face relative newcomers to the V.League 1 Sanna Khanh Hoa FC in the first leg on Saturday.
The return leg will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. The winner of this clash will meet Lao Toyota in the semifinals.
Founded less than five years ago, Sanna Khanh Hoa have the look of a competent side that can attack and defend in good measure.
But it is in the choice of a reliable goalkeeper that the team faces some questions. It is likely that Ngyuen Tuan Manh will get the nod ahead of three other aspirants.
Chaher Zarour’s vast experience makes the French veteran a formidable competitor at the back, and Nguyen Hoang Qock Chi could provide Sanna Khanh Hoa’s attacking spark.
Sou Yaty has been impressive in goal for Boeung Ket, who will be looking to stars Calijuri Maycon, Samel Ajayi, Khun Laboravy and Sok Sovann to play their expected roles as well as they have done this season.
The focus right now is on this double-leg challenge, but the one grand moment Boeung Ket have been fighting for all these months is their MCL championship tilt on December 31.
But before that they have this tough business of overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit against NagaWorld in the semifinals of the Hun Sen Cup.