Saturday, January 16, 2010

Qualifying success

Yesterday was the final round of group qualifying matches for the Hun Sen Cup, which have been held in four locations in the provinces over the past week. It was good to see the teams from the Cambodian Premier League getting out and about to give the provincial teams a crack at toppling them, though the CPL boys all came through to the last 16 with the exception of Post Tel, who had a miserable time in Kep, losing all four games. Two teams from each of the eight groups qualified for the next round to be played in Phnom Penh beginning in two weeks time (30 January). In Battambang, Phnom Penh Crown waltzed through Group A with 4 wins out of four, netting 26 goals and conceding none. In Group B, the National Defence Ministry had to settle for 2nd spot to the Mekong Kampuchea University side. Up in Siem Reap, BBU and Naga go through as group champs, Naga netting 26 goals in just three games. Down in Kep, Koh Kong topped Group F over Wat Phnom (who were called Spark last season), with Kiriviong also grabbing top spot in Group E. And in Svay Rieng, Khemara scored 28 goals withour reply in their 3 games, with Preah Khan also topping their group with ease. Highest score of the round went to Khemara who beat Arizon 15-o.
The last 16 round will take place over the two weekends of 30 January and 6 February. Koh Kong will fancy their chances of a cup upset against National Defence, whilst Mekong Kampuchea University will also be up for their game against Wat Phnom. I would expect the big guns like PPCrown, Naga, Khemara and Preah Khan to proceed with ease. Only Khmer-born players are eligible for the Hun Sen Cup matches this season, which act as a prelude to the CPL, or the Metfone C-League as it'll be called this season.
Footnote: The Cambodian national team coach, Scott O'Donell made a welcome re-appearance on ESPN's football results program tonight to dissect the Barclays Premiership results. Scott had been a regular pundit on the sports channel in the past but has been absent for some time due to his Cambodian U23 involvement.

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