Domestic football hist-ory beckons for defending champions Boeung Ket Rubber Field when they line up against 2009 winners Naga Corp in a marquee match at Olympic Stadium at 2pm on Sunday as the Metfone C-League resumes after the New Year break.
With eight straight victories on their back, Boeung Ket are well within sight of a unique record of winning all their games in the first half of the season — a feat no other team has achieved.
But can the titleholders assert themselves against a stubborn Naga the way they have done against the other eight sides?
Served well by a potent strike force, Boeung Ket have posted an impress-ive average of a tad more than three goals per game to enjoy an eight-point cushion over Preah Khan Reach, who have been re-christened Svay Rieng Football Club.
A few bumps in the road have left Naga struggling to perform at their very best in the first rounds.
A chance to stop the runaway leaders, who beat them in last year’s championship decider, in their tracks could act as inspiration for the two-time champions, who are currently third in the table.
Boeung Ket coach Prak Vuthy has two strong reasons as to why this tough encounter against Naga is significant for his team and players, and maintaining the winning momen-tum is obviously high on the coach’s wish list.
“We are so close to creating a rec-ord, and playing a strong side like Naga could benefit our preparations for the AFC President’s Cup in May,” Vuthy told the Post.
Sunday’s other fixture, at 4pm, will afford second-from-bottom Minis- try of National Defence a fighting chance to begin crawling out of the drop zone.
Although confidence has seemingly drained out of MND, some of it has been restored in opponents’ Build Bright United camp.
The Army men find themselves in a rough corner, and ending a miserable start to the campaign on a positive note could help them recover in the next stage.
Four-time league champions Phnom Penh Crown are seeking a pro-active approach in the next phase as they unleash their three new foreign signings - two South Koreans and a Dutchman - ahead of their vital match against Kirivong Sok Sen Chey at Olympic Stadium at 4pm tomorrow.
Joining Crown will be Elroy Van der Hooft, of the Netherlands, who spent his youth at Ajax and played in Greece before moving to Indonesia.
Fortunately for Crown, the striker signed late in Indonesia and will be unable to play there for a few months - a break head coach Sam Schweingruber is capitalising on.
Koreans Lee Ha-Neul, who goes by Sky, and Choi Jae-Cheol, nicknamed Season, could also be valuable addit-ions to Crown’s front line.
Sky has been impressive in tryouts but Season is on the mend, having been out of action for a long time after a serious injury. He is expected to be match-fit within a few weeks.
Crown are just below Kirivong in the standings but outside the top four. Holding on to their fourth spot and playoff berth is of crucial importance to the visitors from Takeo.
A slide to sixth place in the table is a worrying factor for National Police, but they face table-trailers Senate at 2pm tomorrow and could make the most of this opportunity to boost their points tally.
The only game at the Old Stadium pits Svay Rieng FC against a vastly improved Asia Europe University at 3pm tomorrow. A name change could bring a change in fortune for Svay Rieng, who as Preah Khan Reach suffered nearly 10 years of frustration chasing the title they covet most.