FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what Cambodia’s Chan Vathanaka, Keo Sokpheng and Myanmar duo Kyaw Ko Ko and Aung Thu are up to in Malaysia and Thailand.
Chan Vathanaka – Cambodia and Pahang FA
Chan Vathanaka and Pahang had to make do with their second draw in as many weeks!
The Elephants, who was forced to settle for a goalless draw against Johor Darul Ta’zim in the first leg of the FA Cup quarterfinals, had to share the points with Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
CV11 was close to a goal with his 18th-minute free-kick and close range effort in the 35th minute, but was denied by opposing goalkeeper Khatul Anuar. Teammates Mohamadou Sumareh and Raj Kogileswaran both netted in the 2-2 draw with Kuala Lumpur.
The result sees Pahang consolidate their hold on second place. They trail top-placed JDT by four points and travel to face the league leaders in the second leg of the FA Cup quarterfinals on Friday!
But ahead of the crucial cup clash, the 25-year-old Kampot native was feeling unusually nostalgic!
CV11, who missed this year’s Cambodian New Year celebrations back home due to Sunday’s match, was reminded of his absence last year while on loan at J3 side Fujiyeda MYFC by Facebook!
Keo Sokpheng – Cambodia and PKNP FC
Out of the matchday squad, Keo Sokpheng watched from the Batu Kawan Stadium stands as his side slipped to a 1-2 loss to Perak.
Taking the Cambodian striker’s spot in the PKNP’s starting eleven, Shahrel Fikri pulled one back in the 34th minute on Sunday. But the goal was little more than a consolation goal with Wander Luiz and Nasir Basharuddin scoring earlier on to hand the Ipoh-based side their fourth loss for the season.
Sitting in ninth, PKNP will have to put aside their league heartache in order to have any chance of overturning a 0-1 first leg deficit against Felda United. They meet the Fighters at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium on Friday in the FA Cup quarterfinals second leg.
Perhaps it is time for coach Abu Bakar Fadzim to shake things up with his team selection after two back-to-back defeats in the league and domestic cup?
After all, 26-year-old Sokpheng has been the picture of professionalism since he has been dropped from the first team. The Cambodian international, who has established himself as a local favourite, was happy to oblige with the fans’ photo requests despite his disappointment at missing out!
Aung Thu – Myanmar and Police Tero
Aung Thu left it till late to give Police Tero all three points in their 3-2 win over Ubon UMT last Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Silver Shields Dragons’ striker, who was named Player of the Week, struck in injury time following a goal from teammate Marcao and an own-goal by Suree Sukha. Mark Hartman and Rodrigo Parana were the goalscorers for the Eagles.
Aung Thu’s fifth strike of the season gave Police Tero their third win of the season and the Bangkok-based side moved up to 14th on 10 points.
After finding the net on a regular basis, the Myanmar international will be raring to go against high-flying Sukhothai who visit the Boonuachinda Stadium this Sunday.
But before the fifth-placed side comes knocking, Aung Thu had his first taste of Thailand’s famous Songkran (Thai New Year) celebrations when he popped by the club’s academy to show off his shooting prowess… With a water gun!
Kyaw Ko Ko – Myanmar and Chiangrai United
Chiangrai United had a double cause to celebrate going into Songkran!
The Beetles rose to sixth after defeating bottom club Air Force Central 2-0 courtesy of a pair of goals from Brazilian duo Victor and Cleiton Silva last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there was also good news on injured striker Kyaw Ko Ko.
The 25-year-old, who sustained a cruciate ligament tear in the Beetles’ 1-0 win over Pattaya United, successfully underwent surgery and is expected to undergo an extensive rehabilitation programme.
But Chiangrai United will have to make do without the Myanmar international, who is out for six to eight months, as they face a stern test on Sunday with reigning champions Buriram United visiting the Singha Stadium!