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Army defence holds off Crown assault

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MND keeper Sou Yaty dives to capture a ball in front of Crown’s Kouch Sokumpheak yesterday. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post

The Metfone C-League returned from its mid-season break with a midweek double header yesterday at Olympic Stadium that saw the outcomes cause a shuffle in middle of the table.

Ministry of National Defence (MND) took the last word of their name literally with a stout-hearted effort from their backline to deny reigning champions Phnom Penh Crown a share of the points with a 2-1 victory.

Build Bright United and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey then battled to a 1-1 draw.

The Army men got off to a perfect start against Crown with a first minute goal from Phoung Soksana.

Twenty-three minutes later, Kingsley Njoku brought things back level with a strike for Crown.

On the hour mark, Chhin Chhoeun produced a spirited dash past three Crown players to set up Pov Phearith for the match winner.

Crown launched wave after wave of attack in search of a winner, but despite earning six corner kicks during the six minutes of time added on they couldn’t find a way past the resolute defence of MND.

In the later kickoff, a barren first half was balanced with an intriguing second session as Kirivong took the lead through Ibrahim Ishola on 73 minutes only for BBU to level five minutes later. Pich Sina nodded in off a Chea Sophany flagkick.

BBU were reduced to 10 men in the 85th minute as Rieng Bunhieng earned a second yellow.

However, they could’ve stolen the show had captain Chhun Sothearoth not missed a penalty awarded in stoppage time.

Pich Sina was upended by Phan Vanda in the box, but Sothearoth’s spotkick was weakly struck into the arms of Kirivong keeper Kun Thnou.

All that was left was for Kirivong captain Ouk Thon to receive his marching orders for a double booking.

The results meant MND sprang up to fifth, four points adrift of Boeung Ket Rubber Field who occupy the bottom spot of the Super 4 playoff places.

BBU nudged Crown further down into seventh.

Interestingly, BBU had signed Nigerian forward Bolaji Badmuss from Naga Corp during the break leaving MND as the only team in the Metfone C-League without a foreigner on their books.

U22 squad trims off excess

A letter sent by Football Federation of Cambodia General Secretary Kul Sophanna yesterday to relevant clubs detailed the recent outcasts from the U22 national squad, which returned from Vietnam last week having drawn 0-0 with Saigon FC in a friendly match.

The team will play one more friendly against the Philippines U22 side next Wednesday at Olympic Stadium before heading to Vientiane for qualifiers of the 2014 AFC U22 Asian Cup.

National Police Commissary’s Srey Udom, Preah Khan Reach’s Sok Chanraksmey, Naga’s Kop Isa and Crown’s Hong Pheng have all been let go due to age limitations, while Prak Mony Udom is ruled out with a fractured right leg and MND’s Ung Dara has been dropped.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ung Chamroeun at chamroeun.ung@phnompenhpost.com
Dan Riley at dan.riley@phnompenhpost.com

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