Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Footy update

I haven't been around much to catch any of the on-going Hun Sen Cup football competition being played in Phnom Penh in recent weeks but this coming Saturday is the semi-final stage at the Olympic Stadium here in the capital, and I hope to catch some of the action. The two games will be played in the afternoon and will see league champions and cup holders Phnom Penh Crown (formerly Phnom Penh Empire, pictured above) take on last year's 4th-placed Preah Khan Reach, while the unfancied Phuchung Neak will do well to stop Naga Corp. In the quarter-finals, Phuchung Neak provided the shock of the competition when they knocked out the Defense Ministry on penalties. However, the military team had themselves to blame by putting their national striker Khim Borey on the bench from the start. Naga also needed spot-kicks to defeat Ranger FC (previously Khemara Keila), who had national striker Kouch Sokumpheak in their ranks and who netted five times in the previous round but couldn't repeat the feat in this game. The other semi-finalists are the cup favourites Phnom Penh Crown, who beat Build Bright one-nil - they boast the national defensive partnership of Thul Sothearith and Teing Tiny, as well as left-footer Chan Rithy in their line-up - whilst Preah Khan Reach knocked Post Tel aside 3-0. Preah Khan have four members of the national squad in their ranks together with legendary veteran striker Hok Sochetra. The Hun Sen Cup Final will be played in Phnom Penh on 28 March.
The next games for the Cambodian national team will be in Bangladesh of all places in early April, as they take part in the qualifying group stage of the AFC Challenge Cup, with games against the hosts, as well as Myanmar and the winners of Macau or Mongolia, who will play a pre-qualifying decider beforehand.



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