Phouchung Neak’s Heng Sokly (centre) finds himself surrounded by Build Bright United players Sunday at Olympic Stadium.
SUNDAY'S encounter between Build Bright United (BBU) and Phouchung Neak turned out to be an entertaining affair, despite both teams' residing in the bottom four of the CPL, and with Phouchung already relegated. BBU ran out 3-1 winners at the death, with a pot full of goalmouth action created by each side.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the early stages, with BBU's Cliff Goodluck firing his close-range shot against the upright, and Phouchung skipper Kao Niso floating over a free kick that eluded the goalkeeper and rebounded back into play off the crossbar.
Though BBU were creating most chances, Phouchung were never out of it, though it took a dramatic last-ditch tackle by Peter Onuhejike to deny Augustine Ogbemi after the BBU striker had outfoxed two defenders and the goalkeeper and had the goal at his mercy.
Four minutes before the halftime interval, BBU finally cracked the resolute Phouchung defence. Ek Vannak did well to control a bobbling ball on his chest, and surprised everyone, including the goalkeeper, by wrapping his foot around the ball from 20 yards and firing into the corner of the net.
They doubled their lead on the hour, when Phouchung keeper Sar Sophea handled outside his area and Oum Chandara struck the resultant free kick true as an arrow past the defensive wall and into the bottom corner.
Phouchung sensed a comeback when BBU defender Rim Bunheang was dismissed for bringing down the rampaging Wilson Mene. The Nigerian forward got up, dusted himself down and smashed home the penalty kick.
The Navy side should've levelled matters three minutes before the end, when busy midfield maestro Onuhejike headed over the crossbar from eight yards out. Instead, BBU went up the other end of the field, and Ogbemi rode two tackles to fire in their third and final goal.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s Hem Salam (left) attempts a slide tackle on Phnom Penh Crown’s Tieng Tiny Sunday.
Kirivong SSC 0 PP Crown 3
Phnom Penh Crown maintained their winning run at the top of the CPL league table with a resounding win over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey Sunday, though they did it with a much-changed side, giving a run-out to a few squad players not normally on show. In Chan Rithy, they had a temporary skipper for the day, who led by example by scoring twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
His first was a header from close range when he found himself unmarked from an Oscar Mpoko corner on 54 minutes.
His follow-up was arguably one of the goals of the season, as he volleyed in a perfect Chan Chhaya cross that nearly took off the goalkeeper's hand and exploded into the net after 65 minutes.
Four minutes later, Kirivong were dead and buried as Crown netted their third through substitute Chan Chhaya, who stooped to head in a knock-back from Tieng Tiny.
Crown had the edge throughout the game, though Kirivong came closest to scoring in the first period, when Vin Nhek Troeung smacked a 30-yard drive onto the crossbar. At the other end, Crown's battering-ram of a centre-forward Mohamadou Ousmanou missed a hattrick of chances just before the half-time interval.
The victory takes Crown five points clear of second-placed Preah Khan Reach, who have two games in hand.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)