The University of Ulsan team from South Korea will play two friendly matches against the Cambodian U21 national team today and on Sunday at Olympic Stadium, with kick-off times both set for 4pm.
Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia striker Phoung Soksana (right) kicks near the face of an Ulsan University player in their 2010 friendly.
The Koreans finished as runners-up in the 2011 U-League championships after losing 3-0 to Hongik University in the final, on November 11 last year.
It will be the university side’s third trip to the Kingdom, having beaten Cambodia 3-2 during their inaug-ural visit in 2008, when the home side was coached by South Korean tactician Yoo Kee Heung.
During the same tour, Ulsan lost 2-0 to 2008 Cambodian Premier League champions Naga Corp.
In February, 2010, the Koreans beat Preah Khan Reach 3-1 before edging Australian Scott O’Donell’s U23 national team 1-0 in the build-up to the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane.
In December of the same year, Ulsan thrashed the national squad 4-1 as Cambodia prepared for their 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification tournament. South Korean Lee Tae Hoon was at the helm in 2010, and will once again face the student side from his homeland.
This weekend’s set of fixtures are a tune-up for the Cambodian U21s ahead of their participation in the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in Brunei in late February.
The team has come under fire from frustrated Cambodian football fans after losing a home game 1-0 to Malaysia Olympic on January 14. Victory in either tie would help attract more support for the Brunei-bound line-up.
Assistant coach Ieng Saknida told the Post yesterday there had been no significant changes, with central midfielder Chhun Sothearath, defender Sok Rithy, winger Prak Mony Udom and striker Phoung Soksana all playing for the third time against Ulsan University. The assistant coach revealed, however, that reigning Hun Sen Cup champions Preah Khan Reach had refused to let six of their selected players compete in the match on Sunday due to fears of overworking them ahead of the start of their title defence next Wednesday. Defenders Muol Daravoan and Sok Rithy, however, have been given the green light to play. League champions Phnom Penh Crown, meanwhile, have vetoed participat-ion by any of their players in Sunday’s match.