Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Ket to face tough test in Philippines




Boeung Ket to face tough test in Philippines

Boeung Ket forward Samuel Ajayi beats Asia Euro United defender Ouk Sokban in a match in December 2017.
Boeung Ket forward Samuel Ajayi beats Asia Euro United defender Ouk Sokban in a match in December 2017.

Boeung Ket to face tough test in Philippines

Cambodian League Champions Boeung Ket, fresh from their victory over Lao Toyota in the qualification playoff, are now in the city of Bacolod on the northwest coast of Negros island in the Philippines to open their AFC Cup Group stage campaign against popular local outfit Ceres Negros, who have just returned home from a good run in the AFC Champions League.

The Group F starter kicks off at 6:30pm Cambodian time on Tuesday at the Panaad Stadium, where the Busmen, as the Negros are fondly known, will clash with Boeung Ket.

A strong showing is what both sides will be hoping for ahead of the upcoming top-flight league seasons in Cambodia and the Philippines, which both open on March 3.

After edging Lao Toyota on the back of Khoun Laboravy’s goal in Vientiane to book their Group F place, the Cambodian champs face a sterner test of strength and character against teams with well established credentials like Negros, Shan United of Myanmar and Home United of Singapore.

It has been a gratifying sight for interim coach Keo Kosal, who replaced the league winning Hao Socheat on a technicality, to see strong performances in the double-leg encounter against Lao Toyota, but the former national player and assistant coach of Svay Rieng is fully aware of the step up in the quality of the opposition that his team will have to deal with.

The visitors will lean on the goal scoring abilities of Brazilian Maycon Calijuri and Cambodia star Laboravy.

After edging Shan United in Yangon on a penalty shootout, Serbian coach Risto Vidakovic’s side overpowered Brisbane 3-2 in Australia, with Spanish signing Bienvenido Maranon and Filipino-Iranian Omid Nazari hauling them over the line.

But that dream run, however, came to an end in China where, in the extreme cold of Tianjin, the side lost to Qauanjian 2-0.

While the Serbian is happy that the team is free from injuries and suspensions, his worry is that some of his new players will not have had enough playing time.

On paper, Ceres look a much stronger and well-knit outfit than their rivals from Cambodia, but Vidakovic is guarded in his optimism by insisting Boeung Ket deserve respect.

In the next two home games at the Olympic Stadium, Boeung Ket meet Shan United on February 27 and Home United on March 6. The team travels to Singapore for the return leg on March 14 before hosting Negros on April 11. They wind up their campaign on April 25 in Yangon against Shan United.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,