BBU record a 2-1 upset of National Defence Ministry; PKR trounce Prek Pra 5-1 Saturday
Photo by: NICK SELLS (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Preah Khan Reach’s Tum Saray (left) takes on Prek Pra Keila’s Sos Souhana during their Metfone C-League match Saturday.
BEFORE tragedy struck and pushed football to the backseat at the Olympic Stadium Saturday, Build Bright United (BBU) had taken delight in bringing down the mighty National Defence Ministry (MND) with a 2-1 victory in their Metfone C-League encounter.
Staying at the top is harder than reaching it, as became apparent to league leaders MND, who were pounced on by an ebullient BBU with two splendid first half goals. The University-backed side then defended the rest of the second half well enough to limit the Army team to a strangely conceived yet poor consolation a few minutes after the change over.
MND saw their own first quarter buoyancy turn dramatically into BBU dominance of the ball and space. After a few cracks at the BBU goal had missed their mark, the hardworking Nout Sinuon injected fresh impetus into BBU breakaways. The first sign of an impending goal came when Sinoun let fly a long range strike of real merit, forcing a fine save from MND goalkeeper Sou Yaty.
It didn’t take much longer for the BBU to break the deadlock, with Sinoun charging towards the MND area. With the forward in a seemingly unstoppable position, an Army defender had to come up with an inevitable knockdown, with the referee awarding a free kick a shade outside the box. Chhun Sothetrath stepped up to smash it through the wall, leaving Sou Yaty clueless.
The 29th minute opener egged on both the sides, and with the interval fast approaching, Sinoun stamped his authority on the tie. Rising highest, he headed home a splendid cross from Sin Dalin with the MND defence caught flat footed.
The change over yielded a slight improvement in the MND fortunes, as one chaotic moment in front of the BBU goal provided them with a much needed boost. Through a forest of legs, the ball ricocheted around with noone really knowing what was happening until it ended at the feet of Um Kompheak to graciously tuck it in.
For the best part, the game was as intense as it was highly combative with transient phases of entertaining play, although the last quarter witnessed impetuousness with two yellows dished out to each side.
MND unbeaten streak start to the season was over, and with the race for the Super Four playoff positions still having a long way to go, this crucial set of points will perhaps put BBU in a much brighter light down the line.
Prek Pra Keila 1 PKR 5
The shocking collapse on the field of Prek Pra Keila’s Nigerian striker Wilson Mene midway through Saturday’s second game forced his visibly distrought teammates to play out a 5-1 loss to Preah Khan Reach (PKR). Substitute Chan Vathanaka, whose very first touch found the net, pilfered two more in a game that was as much a drag for the players as it was for the onlookers, given the anxiety and tension surrounding the disturbing departure of Mene.
The red-shirted PKR were ruthlessly efficient, and Ande Apollo opened the floodgates just five minutes into the tie, when he was greeted with a juicy cross well inside the box with only hapless Prek Pra keeper Yok Ary to beat.
Two good efforts by Prek Pra followed, including a darting, unchallenged run down the right flank by Mene, but failing to hit the target once inside the box.
PKR captain Sam El Nasa managed to get his name on the score sheet, before the introduction of Chan Vathanaka for an injured Ande Apollo, provided a showcase for the substitute’s talents. With his very first touch, Vathanaka capitalized on slack marking to thump home a well conveyed cross. His second goal also came under similar circumstances, and he didnt have to work much harder to claim his well deserved third, which came quite late in the game.
Sos Souhana pulled one back for Prek Pra as some kind of a just reward for keeping the fight going. But tempers were understandably frayed as the game was drew to a close, with many players’ hearts and minds set away from the pitch. Some of the Prek Pra men allowed their frustrations to surface, including Ly Souphy, who was shown his second yellow minutes before the end. However, by then the game had been sealed by the military police team, condemning Prek Pra to their sixth straight loss in this year’s campaign.