Taing Sopheak: The Hun Sen Cup semi-final clash with G.C National Police is like a cup final

Angkor Tiger meet G.C National Police in the Hun Sen Cup semi-finals at the National Olympic Stadium, with Angkor Tiger forward Taing Sopheak pointing out that this Sunday’s Hun Sen Cup tie is like a cup final as it is the hardest match in his football career.

Against G.C National Police will be the forward’s second time to play in the Hun Sen Cup semi-finals with Angkor Tiger as he first played in this stage in 2015, when Angkor Tiger lost 2-0 to host Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng at the Svay Rieng Stadium.

However, the 24-year-old’s side went on to clinch the Hun Sen Cup third place after thrashing G.C National Police 3-0 to secure bronze medals, with the forward hopeful to use this winning experience to edge past their semi-final opponents to reach the finals.

The Siem Reap-based club are unbeaten in their last six league matches with three wins and three draws, and before they reached the round of last four teams in the Hun Sen Cup, they had made one of the most remarkable Hun Sen Cup come-backs.

Coach Oriol Mohedano’s side came from a 3-0 defeat to Phnom Penh Crown at home in the first leg to win 4-1 (4-4 aggregate) on the return leg before seeing off the two-time Hun Sen Cup winners on penalty shootouts (4-3), while away goals are not applied in this tournament.

Therefore, Taing Sopheak is confident that Angkor Tiger can beat G.C National Police to claim their place in the Hun Sen Cup finals but insists that his side must have high concentration and focus as it won’t be easy to play in the semi-finals.

Taing Sopheak told TheMorning: “It is the toughest game in my football career as there will be so much tension, and it’s just like a cup final.

“It won’t be easy for us at all. Before the kick-off, we will never know the result as this Sunday’s semi-final clash is the encounter between two strong teams. It will be my second time to play in the Hun Sen Cup semi-finals, so I am very confident and have faith in myself.

“We can’t underestimate them [G.C National Police], but we are very committed to give everything till the last minute. I believe we can do it. Our coach has shown us many inspirational videos, and after watching them, I feel if they can do, we can. We will try together, and hopefully we can beat them.

“We have met G.C National Police several times in both the league and Hun Sen Cup competitions, and we get several good results against them. We have learned a lot regarding how they play. It’s hard to beat them, but as we have played them many times, I think we know their weaknesses.

“We need to have high concentration and focus as the teams that can reach the semi-finals are always tough opponents.”

Photo courtesy of CNCC