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PKR take on Naga in clash of MCL top two

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NagaWorld’s Kouch Sokumpheak and PKR Svay Rieng’s Soeuy Visal vie for the ball in a 2015 MCL season match. Sreng Meng Srun

PKR take on Naga in clash of MCL top two

With the race for the four playoff places in the Metfone C-League tightening considerably, leaders Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng travel to Old Stadium on Saturday to face NagaWorld in a crucial encounter that could have a profound bearing on the top half of the standings.

A second-half brace by Brazilian Maycon Calijuri lifted Boeung Ket spirits as the defending champions came away with a morale-boosting win over the frontrunning PKR, slashing their lead to just four points at the top of the table.

Even as Svay Rieng were struggling on their own pitch to contain Boeung Ket, NagaWorld were frustrated no end in their clash against Phnom Penh Crown, who stepped out of the shadows late in the second half to equalise Naga’s 14th minute opener.

Adding drama to last week’s picture was the Ministry of National Defence recovering from a dreadful spell of three defeats to pull themselves back into contention after prevailing over Cambodian Tiger.

The four-game card for Saturday features five of the top six teams, with each one keen to hold their ground as every point earned or dropped could make a marked difference in the dash for those lucrative places at the end of the league season.

While the Naga-PKR contest rightly takes top billing, the match between Phnom Penh Crown and Army at the RSN Stadium should also throw up a stirring duel.

The Armymen need a victory under lights to force their way into the top four as they are two points behind Crown going into the game.

Boeung Ket, who consolidated their position at the Svay Rieng Stadium by beating the local giants, will once again be making a road trip to the same venue, this time to face the second from bottom team, Cambodian Mine Action Centre, while some top contenders will be fighting it out in Phnom Penh.

The top six in the standings after 17 gameweeks are PKR (37 points), NagaWorld (33), Boeung Ket (33), Phnom Penh Crown (32), Army (30) and Cambodian Tiger (28).

Weekend schedule

Saturday

NagaWorld v PKR Svay Rieng, Old Stadium, 3:30pm
Boeung Ket v CMAC, Svay Rieng Stadium, 4pm (Live on CNCC)
National Police Commissary v Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, Old Stadium, 6pm
Phnom Penh Crown v Ministry of National Defence, RSN Stadium, 6pm (Live on BTV)

Sunday

Electricite du Cambodge v Cambodian Tiger, Svay Rieng Stadium, 6pm (Live on CNCC)
Asia Euro United v Western Phnom Penh, Old Stadium, 6pm (Live on BTV)

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