The Hun Sen Cup is set for its final showdown at Olympic Stadium today, with the FA Cup-style open contest for clubs and provinces both mighty and meek having gone through months of a multi-tier filtering process.
At the end of a gruelling campaign running into months and that is restricted to Cambodian players, it comes as no real surprise that the teams with the best track record in the 11-year history of the tournament, Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng and NagaWorld, are to face off in the campaign finale, which kicks off after the third place playoff between Boeung Ket and relative newcomers to elite company Electricite du Cambodge.
Between them Svay Rieng and Naga have four Cup triumphs and have been losing finalists no less than six times, which makes this matchup one of the fiercest rivalries in domestic football.
Top priority for both sides will be to salvage their season with a Cup triumph to ease the pain of watching their Metfone C-League hopes go up in smoke.
Svay Rieng have won the Cup more often than any other team, with wins in 2011, 2012 and 2015, and they made the final last year, losing 6-5 on penalties to National Defense Ministry.
Naga narrowly lost to Svay Rieng 2-1 when the two sides met in the 2015 final and the casino-backed side won the Cup in 2013 after Svay Rieng’s back-to-back Cup wins in 2011 and 2012.
Svay Rieng’s sole league success came in 2013.
For NagaWorld coach Meas Channa, who was part of Naga’s 2013 Cup-winning team as a player, the loss to Svay Rieng in the 2015 final during his first season as coach of the side will add to his desire for revenge this time round.
The final is to played at Olympic Stadium after the conclusion of the third place playoff between Boeung Ket and EdC at 3pm.