Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Build Bright United’s Nuth Sinoun (right) is the only player to score in double figures so far this Metfone C-League season.
THE first round of the Metfone Cambodian League has seen a grueling war waged between attack and defence, with a handful of standout strikers finding the back of the net at an alarming rate. A total of 182 goals were recorded in the 45 games of the first leg, with 11 hotshots accounting for 77.
Here are the top scorers in line for the season’s Golden Boot award:
Nuth Sinoun – 10
Nuth Sinoun is the league’s leading scorer and one of the main reasons why his club Build Bright United currently reside on top of the league table. The 22-year-old local has been a revelation this year, scoring ten goals in his eight games for the University backed side, and bagging a brace on three separate occasions.
Julius Chukwumeka – 9 goals
Julius Chukwumeka’s tally of 16 goals last season was pivotal for Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s sixth place finish. Creative with the ball, the Nigerian has remarkable strength and pace and has scored nine goals in eight appearances for the Takeo-based team, with a fantastic five put past newly promoted Chhma Khmao.
Uche Prince Justine – 9 goals
‘The Prince’ was highest goal scorer last year with 22 goals while playing for Spark FC (now Wat Phnom). Injury and rotation has limited him to playing in seven games of Phnom Penh Crown’s nine matches, yet he amassed nine goals. The young Nigerian will have to maintain his form in front of the sticks to realize his dream of winning back-to-back golden boots, as competition for the accolade is hotter than ever.
Teab Vathanak – 9 goals
Teab Vathanak has been a regular in coach Prak Sovannara’s Naga Corp squad, with the frontman well admired for his knack of goal scoring. He has an impressive nine goals in as many appearances, with four coming against the league’s whipping boys Chhma Khmao.
In Vichheka – 7 goals
20-year-old Kirivong forward In Vichheka was sidelined for nearly six months following a nagging knee injury, and has made just six appearances this campaign, starting in only one, but nevertheless blasting seven past opposition. The prolific sharp shooter plays with the strength of steel, and should be running rings around opponents come the second leg once he regains full fitness.
Contenders to the throne
Meanwhile, other players still in contention include Preah Khan Reach’s Sam El Nasa and Khoun Laboravy, and Naga Corp’s Joseph Oyewole on six goals, while National Defence Ministry trio Khim Borey, Phoung Soksana and Souern Vireak have each netted five times so far this term.
Crown heads to Thai tourney
Barely a week after returning from their failed attempt to reach the quarterfinals of the 2010 Singapore Cup, Phnom Penh Crown departed Thursday for Thailand to take part in a four-team invitation tournament.
Be Makara, manager of the Metfone C-League club, revealed Wednesday that his team is looking to use the two-day competition to prepare for the second round of the domestic season as well as a “continuation of our plans to give our players international exposure.”
Thai sides Mukdahan FC and Leoi City, and Champasak FC from Laos, will compete Crown face Thai second division side Mukdahan FC Saturday, while visiting Laotian club Champasak will meet Leoi City with the winners of both matches playing a final on Sunday.