The battle between Boeung Ket Angkor and Ministry of National Defence for the Metfone C-League title will be extended all the way to the last game of the season on September 10 after the top two in the standings won their penultimate matches over the long weekend.
The 2012 champions Boeung Ket squeezed out a 1-0 away win over Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on Friday evening to open up a four-point gap on the Army outfit.
But that lead was shortlived as the Armymen swiftly and efficiently cut it down to a single point after brushing aside CMAC United 2-0, with both goals coming in the second half at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
With NagaWorld, who are currently a distant third in the standings, away in Mongolia for the AFC Cup qualifiers and the national team set to play an international friendly against Hong Kong on September 1, the league action will be put on hold.
But when it resumes, Army and Boeung Ket will have one match to secure the title, with Boeung Ket having only the slimmest of advantages. While Army will be up against a bottom-of-the-table side in AEU on September 9, Boeung Ket face a much harder task in dealing with National Police in what will be their final game of the season the next day.
It was once again Sou Yaty’s splendid work in the Boeung Ket goal that made the victory possible, along with the only goal of the match from Samuel Ajayi Gbenga in the 55th minute.
The home side had plenty of chances in either half but less than elegant finishing and a formidable goalkeeper left Svay Rieng frustrated.
After a somewhat patchy display during the first session, Army tidied up in the second half. A CMAC handball presented a penalty that was neatly converted by Choe Myong-ho in the 51st minute.
After a string of raids that saw Chhin Chhoeun strike the upright, a fast break on the right led to Keo Vannak slotting the ball home for Army’s second in the 82nd minute.
With those goals easing the pressure, Army were content to play out time as the skies opened up in the last few minutes of the game.
In Saturday’s two fixtures, Phnom Penh Crown were too good for Asia Euro United in a 4-0 thumping, after leading 2-0 at the break, while Western Phnom Penh drew 3-3 with Cambodian Tiger FC.