Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Naga Corp’s Kop Isa (left) vies with Kirivong’s Sok Va during their Metfone C-League match last year on July 24.
Naga Corp will look to leapfrog reigning champions and league leaders Phnom Penh Crown in the Metfone C-League table today with victory against Kirivong Sok Sen Chey. However, the unpredictable weather conditions at Olympic Stadium for their 3pm kickoff could make things interesting.
Prak Sovannara’s Naga team have been prolific in attack, scoring 18 times in their previous two matches. Nigerian forward Julius Oiboh netted his third hat-trick in just four appearances while former national team striker Teab Vathanak has also been in scorching form with five goals in the last two games.
Naga winger Meas Channa should once again provide a succession of deadly crosses, while veterans Om Thavrak and Neang Chenla will assure strength in defence. Defender Teat Chandara Sokha is another man to watch for Naga, having recently received a call up to the national team from South Korean coach Lee Tae Hoon.
On Sunday, Kirivong surrendered a 4-1 lead against Crown to draw 4-4 and will look to quickly put such humiliation behind them. Midfielder In Vichheka and right back Sos Nasiet have proved their worth during this season, and have also been honoured with national team berths.
The Takeo side is set to be without midfielder Muhammed Aberejo, but top scorer Nelson Oladiji returns from suspension.
Vietnamese coach Nguyen Chau Hong would see his side move above Naga and into second place if they can take all three points today. Last year, Naga Corp won both of their league encounters with scorelines of 2-1 and 1-0.
In the campaign so far, 133 goals have been registered from 30 games including six own goals. Last week 37 goals were scored, half of them made by defenders, with most of the results hinging on last minute strikes.
Naga’s Oiboh remains on top of the scoring charts with 10 goals, three ahead of Kirivong’s Nelson Oladiji. Four other Cambodian players including Naga’s Teab Vathanak share third place on five goals.