One of the two mid-week Metfone C-League fixtures at Olympic Stadium this afternoon brings memories flooding back of the January 13 eight-goal scorcher which Svay Rieng Football Club, then Preah Khan Reach, won against Kirivong Sok Sen Chey.
That was the first week of the 2013 season, and the two sides meet again at 2pm today jostling for a better position in the standings behind the tear-away front-runners Boeung Ket Rubber Field, who break from their brilliant unbeaten league run for a few days to focus on their Singapore Cup tie on Friday.
Svay Rieng are now slotted in second on 22 points, eight behind Boeung Ket, but Kirivong are well off the pace with 17 points in fourth, with Naga Corp breathing down their necks just a point away.
Naga, who bounced back from a goal down to hold Ministry of National Defence to a 1-1 draw in their last fixture, play Senate Secretariat, the bottom most side in the table, at 4pm.
So it is quite plain that Kirivong will be under greater stress to get their act together and pick up a point or three.
The visitors from Takeo can take some heart from that spirited rally they staged after chasing the improbable task of making up four goals on Svay Rieng last time to eventually go down 5-3. That outcome could have a positive impact on Kirivong but it could also pump Svay Rieng up. A cracking game is well on the cards.
Svay Rieng take the pitch today on the back of a squeaky 2-1 win over Build Bright United, while Kirivong had a much harder time against league debutants Asia Europe University, who blew up a 2-0 lead built in the first 16 minutes.
Kirivong had left it so late that it was only in the stretch run that they managed to fire three goals to hit the finish line strong. They will again be on the lookout for a strong showing from their African imports, Nwakuna Friday and David Njoku, who hauled the side out of trouble against the University lads.
For 2009 champions Naga, who added the Hun Sen Cup to their silverware collection early this year, the 2013 league campaign has not gone the way they would have wished. In the early part of this final phase, Naga have been forced to keep fighting for a Super Four berth. Every point won or dropped may be crucial for Naga because Phnom Penh Crown and Kirivong are very much in the hunt too.
So far Senate have been the season’s punchbags, something that may cheer Naga up, but the side is well aware that the rest of the seven-game road ahead could be bumpy.