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Hun Sen Cup semis slated for next week at Olympic Stadium

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Visakha FC led by Keo Sokpheng (centre) is one of the favourites to advance to the finals. KT/Yeun Punleau

The semi-finals of the 2020 Hun Sen Cup will be held next week with the last four teams battling for a seat in the finals of Cambodia’s premier knockout tournament.

Prey Veng football club, the champion of the provincial leg of the tournament, is in the semis together with NagaWorld FC, Visakha FC and Phnom Penh Crown FC. The last three teams are playing in the Metfone Cambodian League (MCL), the Kingdom’s top-tier football league.

NagaWorld FC will battle Phnom Penh Crown FC in the semi-finals. The other pairing will pit Prey Veng FC against Visakha FC.

According to the schedule provided by the tournament organisers, NagaWorld FC will play Phnom Penh Crown FC on October 21 at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. Prey Veng FC and Visakha FC will face off at the same venue the next day. Both games will start at 6pm.

Dignitaries are expected to grace the occasion, though the number could  be limited due to restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Previous games of the tournament were held at various stadiums across the country.

In the first pairing, NagaWorld FC is the slight favourite to advance to the finals. The team is coming off an upset win over powerhouse Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC, one of the two finalists last year.

PKR Svay Rieng FC is also among the most successful teams in the the Hun Sen Cup, having won the title four times in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017.

NagaWorld FC is expected to rely on local standouts like midfielders Sus Suhana and Khim Borey. Phnom Penh Crown FC will have forward Yeu Muslim to spearhead its attack.

Visakha FC is seen as the other favourite to emerge from the final four after it shocked defending champion Boeung Ket FC in the quarter-finals.

Visakha FC has a stable of outstanding players led by strikers Reung Bunheing and Keo Sokpheng.

But Prey Veng FC is no pushover. The team from Prey Veng province beat Tboung Khmum FC in the provincial finals and subsequently shocked Tiffy Army FC in the last eight.

Striker Vuth Tola, one of the top goal-scorers in the tournament, is expected to carry the cudgels for Prey Veng FC.

Unlike the quarter-finals, the semis will be a single knockout game, with the winner advancing directly to the championship round.

Named after Cambodia’s leader, the Hun Sen Cup features provincial teams and representatives of the Cambodian League. The MCL teams join the tournament minus their foreign players.

 

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