Thursday, May 3, 2012

A record of success

Dordoi celebrate their latest championship success
The favourites in Group B of the AFC President's Cup qualifying round that kicks-off in Phnom Penh this weekend are undoubtedly Dordoi Bishkek from Kyrgyzstan. Like their fellow countrymen from Neftchi in last season's qualifiers here in Cambodia, Dordoi will present the biggest obstacle for the other three teams in the group. They are one of the two most successful club sides in the history of the AFC President's Cup, vying with Tajikistan's Regar-Tadaz for the top honour, with Regar just shaving it in terms of cup final victories, with three wins to Dordoi's two. However, Dordoi have also reached the final on another four occasions and are a definitive powerhouse when it comes to the AFC's third tier club cup competition. The surprise is that they weren't in the competition last season after Neftchi dislodged them from their domestic championship spot for the first time in seven seasons before they came storming back last October to reclaim their rightful place at the top of Kyrgyz football, which gained independence from Russia in 1992. Their current domestic campaign, with eight teams in the national league, has just begun and Dordoi head the table with three straight wins. Like Phnom Penh Crown, they have five overseas recruits in their ranks and will have to select just two from their foreign contingent from Brazil, Cameroon and Ghana, where midfielder Daniel Tagoe originates and who played when the two teams last met in 2009, the same year he was crowned Kyrgyz player of the year.

Their AFC President's Cup wins came in 2006 and 2007, beating Mahendra Police Club in the second final, now called Nepal Police Club and who also feature in this week's Group B. In their cup final defeats, Dordoi-Dynamo as they were known then, lost three times to their rivals Regar and once, in 2010 to Yadanarbon from Myanmar. In 2005, Crown's predecessor Hello United faced Dordoi-Dynamo and came off second-best, going down 6-1 in Nepal. In 2009 PPCFC travelled to Kyrgyzstan and lost 3-1 against Dordoi on their home turf with Lappe Lappe opening the scoring for Crown after half an hour. In the starting line-up for Crown were Tieng Tiny and Chan Chaya whilst Soeng Vanthan came on as a substitute. Some of the Crown team have faced them whilst playing for other Cambodian clubs in the President's Cup. Playing for Khemara in 2006, Kouch Sokumpheak, Tieng Tiny, Chan Chaya and Chan Dara were on the wrong end of  a 3-0 defeat against Dordoi. Sokumpheak faced them again with Khemara in 2007, losing 4-0, whilst Tieng Tiny met them in 2008 with Naga, going down 2-0. That means it's about time that the Crown squad were able to celebrate a positive result against one of the very best teams at this level.

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