Tuesday, February 11, 2014


With just the two matches played yesterday in the Metfone C-League, the only result I haven't mentioned is the Army versus Western Uni, which as I could've predicted, ended goal-less. That's the type of game Army seem to prefer, especially when they play with Pom Tola as their main striker. He's a full-back. Apparently two Army players got wed at the weekend, so their ranks were depleted. And Ke Vannak didn't spend most of the game on the floor as he did against Phnom Penh Crown the week before. Western had no such excuse and found the net akin to a long-lost relative, after winning the University battle the week before. Their African connection didn't work for them this time around. I think it's going to be a long hard season for both clubs.

Kirivong took on Crown under the floodlights at Olympic and played a similar game as Army did a week before, boring as hell. I can't fathom any team that goes into a match with such a negative attitude, content to defend for the whole game and happy to waste time from the kick-off. As the military did the previous week, Kirivong's players were going down like flies from the get go. The possession stats must've been very high in Crown's favour but it took until the last seconds before they made the game safe at two-nil. Kirivong paraded two new Brazilians in their line-up, though the well-travelled Ayrton Matheus Chagas de Morais, who has played in Thailand, Bulgaria, Philippines and Indonesia, only lasted fifteen minutes before he was stretchered off. He was the only player to go down and stay down. Their other Brazil import, striker Carlos Alberto Santos de Deus, showed some neat touches but was on his own for most of the game and didn't make a telling impact.

With Rafael Oliveira at Crown and the two new faces at Kirivong, the Brazilian invasion into the Metfone C-League is picking up speed, though it will have to go some to catch up to the Japanese connection, that is currently swamping Cambodian football. I've lost track of the number of imports from Japan this season, aided in no small measure by TriAsia's preference for players from the Land of the Rising Sun, Albirex's arrival in the competition and individual additions to teams such as Naga, BBU, Western Uni and National Police. I've heard the Federation's youth Academy also kicked off last week with a head coach from Japan (34 year old Yusuke Iki), though there's been no media coverage of the event so far.

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