As expected, Naga brushed aside Western University 3-1 in the midweek Metfone C-League game and took back the top spot on goal difference from National Police. Sun Sovannrithy scored twice, early on and then from the penalty spot, with Chhim Sambo getting on the scoresheet again, after netting twice at the weekend. Maxwell Woko had earlier equalized for Western. Naga, Police and Preah Khan have essentially qualified for the Super 4 play-offs, all bar the shouting, and would have to lose their remaining games to fail now. The other spot, currently occupied by Boeung Ket, is the one that four teams have their beady eyes on. Obviously, Boeung Ket are in pole position with five games left to play and are 1 point ahead of three teams, Phnom Penh Crown, Army and BBU. This coming Saturday could see changes in the placings. In the early game, Crown meet BBU and next up is Army v Boeung Ket. The big game on Sunday is Preah Khan against National Police. But it's the Saturday games that hold the interest for football fans this weekend with Crown desperate to claw their way back into the play-off places and the other three teams determined to get their own noses in front.
An over-hyped youth game between a Cambodian U17 side and a regional Japanese academy team (and not the Japan age-group national team that was expected by the crowd) drew a big audience at Olympic Stadium tonight under floodlights. Billed as Cambodia v Japan, we had the national anthems and all that razzmatazz before a disappointing game of football, that simply didn't live up to the huge billing it received. Cambodia had the size and strength advantage as well as up to three years age advantage against their willing opponents, who battled bravely but didn't play with the style or finesse that had been expected. Their long-ball style didn't cause the home team much difficulty at all and the Japanese goalkeeper was easily the best player on the park. Final result was 1-1 but honestly, it simply wasn't worth the excessive hype it received in the build-up.