Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Ket face stern test in AFC President’s Cup




Boeung Ket face stern test in AFC President’s Cup

Boeung Ket face stern test in AFC President’s Cup

24 balkan hilal al Quds

Nothing succeeds like success, and Boeung Ket Rubber Field will be banking on their abundant self-belief to pass a stern test of strength and character that Turkmenistan’s champs Balkan FC are likely to bring to their AFC President’s Cup Group C tie at Olympic Stadium today.

With both sides having won their opening matches on Monday, this crucial clash, which virtually determines the group rankings, could turn into a sharp, no-holds-barred contest.

Boeung Ket coach Prak Vuthy is well aware of the hard work that lies ahead once the game kicks off at 4pm after Monday’s losers Sri Lanka Army Sports Club and Palestine side Hilal Al-Quds bear the brunt of the afternoon heat when they meet at 1pm.

The coach concedes that Balkan’s overall physical strength and their ability to put this into some tough play could prove troublesome for his team, but he is not duly worried.

“We have some tough players too, and I can count on a lot of positives that came out of our win against the Sri Lankan Army on Monday to work well again for us,” Prak Vuthy told the Post after Boeung Ket’s dominant 6-0 victory.

The toast went out during Boeung Ket’s victory celebrations to 19-year-old Chan Vathanaka, whose four-goal haul has raised his own profile as a prolific scorer.

Nimble footed as he is, Vathanaka, in his last teen year, has shown remarkable presence of mind when it comes to gilt-edged opportunities. On Monday he seemed to be everywhere, a sign that he could be relied upon to switch positions and gears any time.

Interestingly, the most exciting playmaker for Boeung Ket has been Momoh Deguile, whose ball control and constant spread of effective passes has kept his colleagues in front busy while making life miserable for opposing defenders.

The Nigerian midfielder is no lightweight when it comes to boot power. On Monday he let loose one of his thundering volleys, which missed the bar by a few inches – but if it had gone in would most certainly have pierced a hole in the net. Momoh Deguile’s midpark sparkle is vital in lighting up the rest of the attacking line.

Boeung Ket will be using utility player Keo Sokngorn sparingly. He sprang up from the bench to score within minutes of stepping onto the pitch against the Sri Lankans.

Keo Sokpheng excelled in sending some neat crosses and delivering promising flagkicks and he could also be a vital attacking link.

Another Nigerian import, Chukwuma Ohuruogu, has been rock solid in the backline, unhurriedly brilliant at times, while Peng Bunchhay under the Boeung Ket bar has been alert, able and confident.

The most worrying aspect for the Kampong Cham club could well be the ability of the Balkan forwards to bulldoze their way into the box, and the Turkmenistan champions are also known for successfully firing in long-range missiles and being very effective in set piece situations.

What is bothering the Balkan camp is the heat and humidity that the players are not so used to. There were water breaks every 20 minutes during their 3-2 win over Hilal Al-Quds, something unusual but warranted under the circumstances, and the Balkan players dealt with the weather better than their rivals from Palestine.

The West Bank champions had reasons to be terribly disappointed on Monday after losing a close call against Balkan. They take to the pitch against Sri Lanka Army Sports Club in the hope they could still make the grade if they manage to win today and repeat the feat against Boeung Ket in their last fixture on Friday. Hope is not yet lost for the Jerusalem-based team.

Spirits were clearly down in the Sri Lankan camp after Monday's defeat, and the unsavoury handball by Sajith Chameera that led to the side’s self-destruction was the talking point. Like Al-Quds, the Sri Lankans are not giving up either and they are determined to put up a stout fight.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,