Wednesday, April 30, 2014

C-League round-up

With Phnom Penh Crown and NagaCorp, in first and second places in the Metfone C-League standings, facing off against each other on Saturday, and drawing 1-1, there was no change at the top of the leaderboard. Especially after Boeung Ket's shock 1-nil defeat to Kirivong on Sunday. It was Kirivong's first win of the season and came courtesy of a Touch Pancharong own goal. The Crown v Naga affair was a tight game though Naga missed a second-half penalty when Sun Sovannrithy blasted over the top. Choun Chum opened the scoring for Naga and Leng Makara levelled for Crown. Another unexpected result was AEU's 2-0 win over TriAsia, no-one saw that coming and the clubs swap places in the league table, with AEU moving into seventh spot. On Saturday BBU moved into the top four momentarily with their 1-0 win over Svay Rieng, thanks to a goal from Rim Bunhieng, but National Police's 4-3 battering of Western Uni on Sunday, moved them into that spot. Police's Noun Borey netted twice to take him to six goals, joint top scorer in the MCL with a few others including George Bisan and Khuon Laboravy. The Army made Albirex Niigata pay for sloppy defensive play, winning 4-1 on Saturday and keep Albirex at the bottom.

Two of the MCL coaches have parted ways with their teams in recent days. Tep Longrachana, the coach at Kirivong, has walked away from the club, who recently slashed their playing staff, retaining just one of their foreign contingent. Without him, Kirivong won their first match of the season on Sunday, against Boeung Ket. Longrachana was in charge of the Army team for a few years before linking up with the Takeo-based side. Over at Western Uni, former BBU coach Meas Samoeurn has left the club by mutual consent, having taken over at the start of this season. Western lie one place off the relegation zone.

Svay Rieng have arrived in Ulaanbator, Mongolia ahead of their qualifying group stage of the AFC Presidents Cup. On Thursday 1 May they will face the hosts, Erchim and then on 3 May they meet the Nepalese champions, Manang Marshyangdi. Two teams from the qualifying group will go forward to the final stages in September, so Svay Rieng, on paper, have a great opportunity to qualify, even though their league form has been pretty haphazard so far this season. The other two group stages, being played in Sri Lanka and Philippines, will kick-off next week. Svay Rieng have also confirmed they will participate in this season's RHB Singapore Cup.

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