The Metfone C-League season enters a thrilling final phase on Sunday as the top three teams in the table – NagaWorld on 50 points, Boeung Ket with 48 and Visakha on 45 – pursue the title in the penultimate round of matches, with two sides facing each other and the other playing Angkor Tiger.
The marquee match of the day will be the evening encounter at Old Stadium where leaders Naga face Visakha, who as top flight debutants are having a dream season that brings to mind how Boeung Ket emerged as a strong force in 2012.
Visakha must overcome Naga and then win their final game against Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng. They will be hoping for a final hurdle meltdown from Naga and for Boeung Ket to stumble against Angkor Tiger and then Phnom Penh Crown in their final match.
NagaWorld, however, are clearly in the driver’s seat, but the two-point cushion they enjoy over their Boeung Ket leaves little margin for error.
Having consolidated their hold on the top spot with a convincing win last week over Ministry of National Defense, NagaWorld will have to be at their best on Sunday to fend off Visakha as they bid to end years of frustration – after having last won the title back in 2009.
If Boeung Ket also win then the league will go down to the final game of the season next week, with Naga facing National Police, while the chasing title holders face Phnom Penh Crown.
Boeung Ket enter the Svay Thom Stadium in Siem Reap in the hope of taming local outfit Angkor Tiger.
Though on paper they may look second best to Boeung Ket, the Tigers’ well known fighting spirit can unsettle any team.
The competitive interest among these three leading teams is so intense that the third game of the day between Phnom Penh Crown and Western Phom Penh is just a formality – though with whipping boys Western’s notoriously porous defence, there could well be a glut of goals.
Even Saturday’s three-game card has been robbed of the usual end of season thrills as each one of the teams involved is more than 10 points or more away from the pace.
Army and Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng clash with nothing to play for, while National Police and Asia Europe United are capable of producing an entertaining game. Siem Reap-based Soltilo Angkor will be confident of taking the full set of points against second from bottom Electricite du Cambodge.