Wednesday, May 7, 2014

League Round-up

With Phnom Penh Crown sitting out the weekend’s fixtures, as their scheduled opponents Svay Rieng were playing in the AFC President’s Cup, it allowed NagaCorp to take over top spot as they put Western University to the sword with a crushing 5-0 success in the Metfone C-League. Two early goals from the quick feet of Barry Lelouma put Naga in the driving seat and the Guinea-born wideman completed his hat-trick in the final minute. NagaCorp are the most experienced team in the competition and two of their old hands, Teab Vathanak and Choun Chum also got on the scoresheet. Whether the ageing team has the legs to keep up this head of steam for the duration of the 22-game season remains to be seen. This Sunday NagaCorp will need to be on top of their game again when they face Asia Euro University, who are proving to be the league’s surprise package in recent weeks. AEU’s single goal success over National Police last weekend, courtesy of Sary Matnorotin’s strike, was unexpected and they now sit in fourth place in the table. If AEU can put a brake on Naga’s progress, then their own ambitions will receive a massive boost. Also stepping over Phnom Penh Crown and into second place in the league standings last weekend were Boeung Ket. Another quick-fire double from Mohammed Tijani and Khoun Laboravy put last season’s runners-up in control and Build Bright failed to find the necessary reply, losing the match 2-0. There's no game for Boeung Ket this weekend, but BBU will hope to recover lost ground when they meet bottom-club Albirex Niigata on Saturday. It's the first time Phnom Penh Crown have been off the top spot for two and a half months, and they now sit in third place with a game in hand.
Japanese-backed Albirex will be kicking themselves that they didn’t get anything out of their match with Kirivong last Saturday. They matched their opponents stride for stride but it was Kirivong who got the all-important strike, through In Vichheka, that settled the result in their favour. Kirivong will meet TriAsia this weekend, with TriAsia hoping they are now back on track, defeating National Defense 3-2 in Saturday’s encounter. Japanese-import Masakazu Kihara netted two of their goals including a second-half winner. It’s an all-military match-up for the evening game on Saturday when National Police take on their National Defense counterparts at the National Olympic Stadium. Both teams lost their games last weekend and will be keen to turn that around this time out. Phnom Penh Crown will be out to impress after their week-off and will seek to put struggling Western University in their place on Saturday. Crown have injury concerns but if they harbor serious championship intentions, then taking three points off Western with a flood of goals should be their minimum expectation.

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