Boeung Ket Rubber Field striker Chan Vathanaka (left) tries to score past Asia Europe University goalkeeper Ung Sareyroth during their Metfone C-League match yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
Enraged by referee Thong Chanketya’s controversial decision to allow an off-side tainted goal to stand in favour of the National Police Commissary, the Ministry of National Defence players stormed off the pitch en masse in protest as the 2013 Metfone C-League season got off to an acrimonious start at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
The hotly contested goal, the second for Police after substitute Ol Ravy had given them a 59th minute lead, came in the 72nd minute when Noun Borey banged home a rebound following Nov Soseila’s first attempt.
Even as this sequence was quickly unfolding, the MND backline along with goalkeeper Um Vichet were yelling out to officials that one of the Police players, Srey Odom, was in an off-side position.
The situation erupted into a war of words when the referee stood by his decision amid vehement protests from the Army players and officials. Once they had realised that the referee was in no mood to change his mind, they resorted to the extreme step of a walk-out, leaving the Police as winners by default.
As per the rules, the referee awarded the match to the Police after the MND players failed to return to the pitch within the stipulated time. The Army men were docked a penalty of three additional goals, which made the final score line 5-0 to the Police. MND may also face the prospect of a punitive fine.
“It is an undesirable incident. Teams walking out like this will have to face the consequences of their actions,” Football Federation of Cambodia spokesman May Tola told the Post.
“The Disciplinary Committee will take further action when it considers the referee’s report of the incident. The [Executive] Committee will definitely [consider] all the circumstances surrounding this.”
In the calm after this storm, former champions Naga Corp, bidding for their third league title, gave new-comers Senate Secretariat a sound 6-1 thrashing. In a way, it was Naga’s idea of a recompense for their loss in the Hun Sen Cup group game to much the same side, albeit in the name of Chamkarmon.
Choun Chum opened the floodgates in the seventh minute and Kob Isa doubled the lead eight minutes later. Teab Vathanak squeezed one in between a Prak Chanra double and French-Cambodian import Pen Stephane rounded off the Naga tally as late as the 82nd minute.
The lone piece of comfort for the Senate was Run Chirola’s 27th minute strike.
Crown captain bumps off BBU
The Old Stadium played host to an MCL battle in the opening week, with Phnom Penh Crown, on only a day’s break following their Hun Sen Cup draw on Thursday, defeating Build Bright United 2-1. The game enjoyed a frenetic start as both teams came out with all guns blazing. A string of scoring opportunities eventually saw Crown captain Khim Borey rounding off a fine individual effort in the 14th minute.
BBU answered back just three minutes later through Plong Chanthou. It was an end-to-end affair, as hitman Khim Borey found the net again in the 26th minute.
For the remainder of the fixture, BBU threw everything they had at Crown, but failed to get past a resolute defence still recovering from the quick turnaround in matches.
PKR gun down Kirivong
As desperate as ever to break their league jinx, Preah Khan Reach began their quest for a maiden triumph in gutsy fashion, beating Kirivong Sok Sen Chey 5-3 in a match full of thrust and parry yesterday at Olympic Stadium.
Spurred on by Phany I Rotha’s seventh minute goal, PKR struck three more in quick succession through a Chan Raksmey double and a Tum Saray score.
Not to be outdone, the visitors responded well when David Njoku and Nwakuna Friday found the mark to keep their side in the chase.
It was Nen Sothearath who helped PKR to stretch their lead to 5-2, and, although Nwakuna Friday completed his own brace with a penalty three minutes before stoppage time, PKR had no problems safely riding out Kirivong’s late rally.
In yesterday’s later kick-off, striker Keo Sokngorn’s lucrative hat-trick stole the thunder in defending champions Boeung Ket Rubber Field’s 5-1 win over debutants Asia Europe University.
Added to Sokngorn’s strike power was the vibrancy of Bisan George, who hammered home two goals to complete the rout. Ear Piroth managed to reduce the margin for AEU.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at firstname.lastname@example.org
With assistance from Chris Derbuc at: email@example.com