Monday, December 22, 2014

No change in the MCL

The Metfone C-League play-offs have been and gone, with the composition of the top division unchanged. The two teams in the 2014 relegation places, Kirivong and Albirex Niigata, will return to the fold after succeeding in the 3-team play-off battle at the FFC's Tonle Bati HQ last week. They were supposed to face the best teams from the Division 1A qualifiers, Sihanoukville and CMAC, but the seaside team pulled out leaving the three-teams to battle it out. Albirex made sure of their place with a 2-0 win over CMAC, after a 1-1 draw with Kirivong in the opening tie. A goal-less draw for Kirivong with CMAC, also saw the Takeo-based team return to the top flight too, so effectively no change.

The Olympic Stadium pitch is now being renovated, courtesy of a $500,000 grant from FIFA and an artificial surface will be laid between now and May. The likelihood is that the start of the C-League in 2015, scheduled for late March, will be played at other stadiums, such as the Army Stadium and the new RSN Stadium, with the Olympic pitch not likely to be ready. The Hun Sen Cup will begin in early January with qualifying matches in the provinces and amongst the Phnom Penh qualifiers, before the top eight teams in last season's C-League are invited to join the qualifying teams in the main competition. The teams in the Phnom Penh preliminary round are Army, Western Uni, Civil Aviation and Chbar Ampov (Creek Victory Sport), Kirivong, Albirex, Tuol Kork (Svay Rieng B) and Chroy Changvar. Games will begin on 8 January with three capital teams joining the province qualifiers in the next round.

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