RHB Singapore Cup 2017 (Quarter-Final, First Leg)
Boeung Ket FC (CAM) vs Global Cebu FC (PHI)
(8 August, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Global Cebu FC head coach Akbar Nawas is quietly optimistic of his team’s chances as they face fellow invitee Boeung Ket FC of Cambodia in their RHB Singapore Cup 2017 Quarter-Final first-leg tie at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.
The People’s Club - as they are affectionately known as - overcame Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League side Geylang International in the Preliminary Round of the competition, emerging victorious 3-2 on penalties after the scores were tied at 4-4 after extra-time.
“It will be game of four halves and it’s important that we get a positive result here,” Akbar told sleague.com.
“It is not going to be easy but we have prepared well and hopefully we can go out there and get off to a winning start against Boeung Ket.”
They beat Illocos United FC 2-1 in the Philippines Football League just three days ago, but former Tampines Rovers head coach Akbar insists it will be a different ball game against Boeung Ket.
“We know they (Boeung Ket) beat Warriors FC 4-1 in the first round and are a team we cannot take lightly,” he noted.
“As we saw in that match, they have fast players who can cause damage if not careful. We might be on a seven-match unbeaten run but we cannot afford to be complacent.”
While this will be their third game in the space of six days, Akbar remains unfazed and has suggested that this could work in his team’s favour.
“Our schedule may not be kind to us but we just have to make do with it,” said the 42-year-old.
“If we look at it, it could mean that the players are in a sharper condition (for the match). On the flipside, it could however mean that the players will suffer from fatigue but we’ll see.
“But this happens all around the world, including in top leagues and we just have to make sure we are well-prepared and let’s take it one game at a time.”
Global are regular fixtures of the competition, having taken part in the prestigious Cup for the past four years. Their best-ever finish came in 2013 and 2015 as they finished fourth on both occasions.
Boeung Ket meanwhile, are competing in the Singapore Cup for only the second time with the first in 2013 where they crashed out at the first hurdle after a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tanjong Pagar United.
Led by Hao Socheat, The Rubbermen are on a decent run of form, having suffered only one defeat in their last five games as they also resoundingly beat Oddar Meanchey 14-1 in the Hun Sen Cup in June.
Skipper Khoun Laboravy struck a hat-trick in their win over Warrior and is one the Global defence has to keep an eye on, while Nigerian winger Esoh Omogba is capable of causing problems with his pace and trickery.
The winners of this two-legged tie will go on to meet either Hougang United or another Cambodian side in Nagaworld FC in the last four of the competition.
Suspension: Paul Mulders (Global Cebu FC)