Thursday, September 15, 2011

Looking towards next week

Neftchi will be looking for a double over Phnom Penh Crown on the 19th
Time for a look at Phnom Penh Crown's AFC President's Cup opponents next week. We've already seen what Neftchi, the bookies favourites to win the competition, are all about, as they topped the qualifying group that was held here in Phnom Penh in May. They won their three games and in Pavel Pavlov they have an experienced head up front whilst Marat Adzhiniiazov has a penchant for scoring 30-yard screamers, which he did to beat Crown 1-0 when the teams met in the final qualifying game. Neftchi are head to head with their biggest rivals Dordoi at the top of the six-team Kyrgyzstan national league at the moment, so they are having another successful season and will consider themselves in-form. They will be bubbling with confidence but we believe it'll be a different story against a full-strength Crown line-up, when the two teams meet in the competition's opening match, kicking-off at 4pm. If we can succeed on Monday 19th where we failed at the first attempt, then it will all be down to the second game, on Wednesday 21st (7pm), when we have to overcome the might of Yadanarbon from Myanmar. Managed by Frenchman Yoan Girard, as Myanmar national league champions for the last two seasons, they set tongues wagging by winning the AFC President's Cup last season, with a 1-0 win over Dordoi, after extra time, at home in Yangon. This season, they held the qualifying round at home and won two games and drew a third to finish 2nd and qualify for the final round. The men to watch are dangerous striker Yan Paing, who Crown coach David Booth introduced to the national team when Booth coached Myanmar, midfielder Pai Soe and their two Ivory Coast foreigners. However, in the league this season, their attempt to recapture their crown has faltered badly and they currently sit in 9th place, in the 12-team national league. They haven't won a league game for two months and that must give Girard cause for concern. He's coached in France and Morocco as well as with Muang Thong in Thailand, with whom the club now have a close relationship. Nevertheless, they will be out to prove that their President's Cup success last season was no fluke. Those are the teams in Group B, with all games to be played at the 40,000-seater Kaohsiung National Stadium. In Group A, the home team, Taiwan Power Company (Chinese Taipei) meet FC Istiklol (Tajikistan) on the opening day and then FC Balkan (Turkmenistan).
Yadanarbon will want to put their league woes behind them to retain the cup


Andy Brouwer said...

Phnom Penh Post did a good preview of the AFC President's Cup matches in their English paper today. Good stuff PPP.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck PPCFC,

khmer in bangkok,