TMCC Match 4 Preview: Hang Day Stadium Hosts Vital Toyota Mekong Cup Semi-Final
Sunday, December 6 will see Hanoi’s 18,000 capacity Hang Day stadium be the scene of the much anticipated semi-final of the Toyota Mekong Club Championship 2015, in a tie which pits Vietnamese side, and defending Cup holders, Becamex Binh Duong FC against Cambodia’s Boeung Ket Angkor FC.
Becamex, as victors in 2014, entered this year’s competition at the semi-final stage after a gruelling 2015 saw the side retain their Toyota V.League 1 title. The club went on to claim a league and cup double by securing the National League Cup in late September and have since spent the interim reinforcing their squad ahead of vital games ahead. While star striker Abbass Dieng is out for a lengthy spell on the side-lines through injury, the club have wasted little time in signing up a trio of foreign talents. Dutchman Michael Hemman, Korean Han Seung-Yeop and Cameroonian striker Nsi Amougou Christian all bolster the Vietnamese side’s attack in the absence of Dieng.
“If Abass won’t be fit in time for the new season, Han Seung Yeop and Nsi will share responsibilities in attack for Becamex Binh Duong, but currently the club’s squad is very stable and ready for battle,” Becamex coach Nguyen Thanh Son, said after the club returned from a training excursion from Nha Trang. “The aim of the whole team is trying to win our semi-final, to reach the final and successfully defend the title this season”, he added.
Boeung Ket meanwhile will be aiming for a win, in an effort to reach an unprecedented final and perhaps help them do even better than their C-League rivals Phnom Penh Crown FC, who participated as Cambodia’s representatives in last year’s inaugural competition. Crown finished the 2014 four-nation tournament in third-place, going out to eventual champions Becamex in a defeat at Go Dau Stadium in Binhduong, Vietnam. They secured third-place after overcoming Laos side Hoang Anh Attapeu, thanks to a brace from Nigerian striker George Bisan.
Boeung Ket are yet to concede a goal in this seasons competition, largely thanks to the sparkling performance in goal from Cambodia’s own Sou Yaty. The national team keeper was awarded the coveted man of the match award in the tournament opener against Lao Toyota and reproduced his form last Sunday to record a further clean sheet and help his side garner a 3-0 rout of Yangon United FC in TMCC Match 3.
Unfortunately for Yaty however, his last experience facing Becamex was not be a memorable one. The 23-year old former-Phnom Penh Crown keeper was on the losing side as Becamex overcame Phnom Penh Crown FC 5-2 in the 2014 TMCC semi-final.
Fans at Hang Day Stadium on Sunday evening can be sure of goals, as two of the regions premier and most exciting club sides battle it out for a place in the grand final later this month against Buriram United of Thailand.