Singapore Cup • May 28, 2014
Cambodian Test for White Swans
Svay Rieng FC (CAM) vs Albirex Niigata (S)
(May 28, Wednesday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Albirex Niigata (S) start their RHB Singapore Cup campaign in unchartered waters as they take on the relatively unknown Svay Rieng FC from Cambodia on Wednesday at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The White Swans was knocked out at the first hurdle a year ago as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Home United in the preliminary round. Against the young Cambodian outfit, coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama will surely be looking to propel their side to the quarter-finals.
Svay Rieng, currently in seventh position in the MetFone Cambodian League, won the league in 2013 as well as the Hun Sen Cup – the main football knockout tournament in Cambodia – in 2011 and 2012.
Earlier in the month, they gained valuable experience when they participated in Asia’s third tier club competition, the AFC President’s Cup.
While they ended the campaign at the bottom of Group C, they showed attacking prowess in their 6-3 loss to Nepali outfit Manang Marshyangdi Club. Midfielder Soun Veasna scored a goal while Nub Tola, one of the brightest prospect in the Kingdom, snatched a brace.
There is no doubt on Svay Rieng’s attacking capabilities, but questions have been raised regarding their defending. In their previous league match against Phnom Penh Crown, Dzarma Bata grabbed a hat-trick within 30 minutes from kick-off.
But the match ended three apiece as Svay Rieng’s defence crumbled in the second half and they were all over the place and allowed Crown’s Khim Borey to sneak a 92nd minute equaliser.
Acknowledging their defensive frailties, coach Sam Vandeth signed a promising centre-back Seuy Visal from Asia Europe University (AEU) a few weeks back.
“He is a young and well trained defender. He has played well at AEU. We are excited to welcome him to the squad and delighted to have another option that will stabilize our defence,” said Vandeth in the club’s official website.
But Visal’s addition to the squad might not be sufficient against the ambitious White Swans.
They are currently in hot form, having fired four past Harimau Muda in their last league match, with three of those goals coming from striker Kazuki Sakamoto.
Svay Rieng’s Squad for RHB Singapore Cup 2014
Goalkeepers: Sar Sophea, Am Sovannarath
Defenders: Moul Daravorn, Ros Kongsomrach, Sam Oeun Pidor, Nen Sothearoth, 45 James Micheal (Nigeria), Seuy Visal
Midfielders: Prak Mony Udom (C), Chea Samnang, Hoy Phallin, Soun Veasna, Lay Raksmey, Nofiu Razak Lawal (Nigeria)
Forwards: Nub Tola, Moung Makara, Dzarma Bata (Nigeria), Phanny Rotha
Svay Rieng FC – DLLLW
21/5/14 Svay Rieng 3-3 Phnom Penh Crown
17/5/14 Western University 0-5 Svay Rieng
3/5/14 Svay Rieng 1-3 Erchim (AFC President’s Cup)
1/5/14 Manang Marshyangdi Club 6-3 Svay Rieng (AFC President’s Cup)
26/4/14 Svay Rieng 1-0 Build Bright United
Albirex Niigata (S) – WLWDW
23/5/14 Harimau Muda 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
14/5/14 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex NIigata (S)
8/5/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Geylang International
1/5/14 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
27/4/14 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Home United