Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng look to seal title

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Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng players (blue) play in the first match with Visakha. CNCC

With the title race all but sealed with four matches remaining, most of Cambodia’s Metfone C-League teams are playing for pride this weekend, and jostling for the highest finish possible.

The fight to avoid the drop remains keenly contested, however, with just three points separating second-bottom Kampong Cham from bottom National Sports Academy.

This weekend sees a full schedule of matches played over Saturday and Sunday, with all games kicking off at 3.30pm.

In Saturday’s games, Kampong Cham host National Police, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey travel to Electricite du Cambodge, and fourth-placed Angkor Tiger are at home to Soltilo Angkor.

Angkor Tiger are heavily favoured to win, as they look to close the five-point gap to third-placed Visakha, themselves only behind NagaWorld on goal difference.

Kampong Cham will be eager to capitalise on their home advantage against National Police to boost their relegation scrap with Sports Academy.

Electricite du Cambodge and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey are both safe in mid-table.

On Sunday, champions elect Preah Khan Reach visit Visakha, who finished in third place last year, where a win would seal their second title, their first coming in 2013.

Ninth-placed Asia Euro United travel to relegation favourites National Sports Academy, who have a mere three points from 22 games played.

Sixth-placed Boeung Ket host NagaWorld, while National Defence look to close the five-point gap between them and visitors Phnom Penh Crown, who currently sit in fifth.

Preah Khan Reach are all but guaranteed to win the championship. They sit 11 points ahead of last year’s champions NagaWorld with just 12 points available from the remaining games.

It has been a tremendous season for the Svay Rieng-based outfit, having only managed sixth place last term.

Winning the title, as seems inevitable, will seal Preah Khan Reach a spot in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

The AFC Cup features “developing nations” from the 34 “next-best” countries that lie outside the top 12 nations in the AFC region, which send their clubs to the more prestigious AFC Champions League.

Preah Khan Reach’s success this year owes much to star player Hoy Phallin, a 23-year-old midfielder who features for the national team, having made his senior international debut at the age of 17 in March, 2013.