The Cambodian C-League nears its crescendo tomorrow as Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng and Ministry of National Defense take to the Svay Rieng Stadium pitch to tussle for a berth in next weekend’s grand final.
Svay Rieng will have the fresher legs of the sides as Army were involved in a 120-minute war in the quarter-final defeat of NagaWorld on Wednesday.
Svay Rieng, meanwhile, have the advantage of home support and not having played a match since last Sunday – a Hun Sen Cup semi-final defeat of Electricite du Cambodge.
Army’s Pheap Sopheak, the assistant secretary at the club, noted that Naga made the game difficult for his team with their defensive play, although the lottery of penalty shoot-outs was good fortune.
“Naga often played at the back and deep,” he said. “We had to work harder to penetrate and get chances. I wasn’t too pleased with our play in the middle of the pitch.
“I am sure Svay Rieng will also seek to exploit our midfield so we will need to be alert [for Saturday’s match].” The format of this year’s competition, a departure from previous seasons, will see the winners of tomorrow’s semi-final meet defending champions Boeung Ket in a December 30 grand final at the Olympic Stadium.
Last season saw Boeung Ket snatch a 2-1 win over National Police Commissary FC in their final match to push a resurgent Army into second-place and claim only their second C-League crown.
Elsewhere, it was announced that Malaysian club side Terengganu FC will be making a visit to the kingdom next month for a series of friendly matches with some of the C-League’s finest.
After securing the signings of former Phnom Penh Crown players Thierry Chantha Bin and Kim Hyeon-woo, Terengganu will make their first outing against PKR Svay Rieng on January 6 before facing Army and Phnom Penh Crown.They are seeking to keep up fitness ahead of the of the Malaysian Super League season in February.