Friday, April 8, 2011

Rithysen up next

Chim Rathanak, still not ready for league action versus Rithysen on Sunday
Phnom Penh Crown will take to the pitch at Olympic Stadium for their second match of the new Metfone Cambodian League season on Sunday (10 April) at 4pm. Rithysen, from Kompong Chhnang, will be the opponents, still smarting after their 6-0 thrashing by the National Defense Ministry in midweek. It was a disappointing debut in the top flight for Rithysen after their promotion as runners-up from Division 1A at the end of last season. They will be hoping for an improvement against the reigning C-League champions, who kicked-off their campaign with a 2-2 draw with Preah Khan Reach last Saturday. Striker Kingsley Njoku scored six minutes into his Crown debut against PKR and will be hoping for a similar start against Rithysen. Chan Chaya, Crown's other goalscorer, will sit out the match due to suspension, after picking up two yellow cards and a red one against PKR.

Phnom Penh Crown head coach Bojan Hodak watched the midweek Rithysen defeat and commented; "I am expecting us to win. I think Rithysen are not at our level but we need to prove this on the pitch. If you underestimate any opponent you can be in trouble, so we need to go all out from the first whistle on Sunday." Hodak has three players on the medical treatment table, with new signing Sun Sovannrithy, a real doubt. "Ty began light training on Thursday after a few days rest with his knee injury, so he's likely to miss Sunday's game. Phoung Narong has a lower back problem though he's making progress and should be okay, but Chim Rathanak is a definite absentee. He's begun jogging but he's not yet doing any ball work. The three-week break after Sunday's game will also allow our national team players to recover from their recent heavy schedule."

There were two unexpected results from week 1 of the new C-League season. A late goal from Say Piseth gave newcomers National Police Commissary a deserved 2-1 victory over Naga Corp on Sunday, but perhaps the biggest shock was the midweek 3-2 success by another new outfit, Chhlam Samuth over the Hun Sen Cup finalists BBU. Pov Samnang scored two classy goals for the former Navy team. Kirivong proved too strong for Prek Pra Keila, winning 3-0 and Nelson Oladiji netting a brace of goals. We already know that Crown drew 2-2 in their crunch game with Preah Khan Reach and Sunday's opponents, Rithysen, were on the wrong end of a 6-0 drubbing by the Army, for whom substitute Phlong Chanthou scored the season's first hat-trick.
After 21 goals in 5 matches in week 1, for week 2 of the Metfone C-League campaign, the Army meet Kirivong and the National Police take on Prek Pra in Saturday's two matches, with Preah Khan Reach facing surprise package Chhlam Samuth in the first game on Sunday. The final match of week 2 will be held over until 23 April when Naga Corp face BBU.

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