Ten minutes of complacency proved costly for Preah Khan Reach as the table toppers were beaten 5-3 by first seasoners Boeng Ket Rubber in a Metfone C League tie that raised many eye brows at the Olympic Stadium.
The result left quite a few regulars wondering as to how a robust side like PKR could pack up so meekly after holding their own and leading Boeng Ket first by 2-0 and then by 3-2 at various stages of the game.
The dramatic twist to the tale came in the last 10 minutes when Boeng Ket first squeezed out an equaliser to level 3-3 and then rammed home two goals to wind up with their eighth win in 15 outings.
Going into the weekend’s action, PKR’s top perch will not be affected by this loss though Boeng Ket’s prospect of making it to the Super Four has now been boosted as they open up a four-point gap over their nearest rivals Phnom Penh Crown, both having been left with three games each to play.
While all three PKR goals were created by hard-working hitman Olawale Bologun, the credit lines went to others.
Twice his daring dash won him penalties and on both ocasions it was Boeng Ket defender Daniel Victor Omachoko who had the misfortune of bringing the PKR pivot down.
Success for PKR came as early as the ninth minute when David Njoku stepped into covert the side’s first penalty. Bologun’s clever forward pass set up Phany Irotha for the second PKR goal. Boeng Ket managed to pull one back before half time through Nwakanu Friday, who would come to haunt PKR later in the game
The first few exploratory moments in the second half brought Boeng Ket on par when Ly Ravy showed excellent presence of mind in a crowded PKR box. After a lengthy spell of up and down stuff on both sides came that second penalty Bologon earned for PKR and this time Suon Veasna was bang on target.
It was Keo Sokgnon who would punish PKR for accepting things lightly. First his flag kick invitingly fell in the path of Oum Kumphea for the sides third goal. His own header fired Boeng ket to the front and he polished off his good work by winning a penalty, all this in a space of nine minutes.
When Nwakuna Friday expertly wrong-footed the PKR goal keeper with the spot kick for Boeng Ket’s fifth and final goal and his own grand double, he had the personal satisfaction of taking his goal tally this season to 14 sharing the honour with Naga’s Choun Chum and Nelson Oladiji of National Police.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at firstname.lastname@example.org