Boeung Ket Angkor made a big stride towards the Metfone C-League title this season by topping the standings in the round robin phase after outplaying five-time champions Phnom Penh Crown 4-2 at the Old Stadium yesterday.
While Boeung Ket and Crown took their appointed places in the ensuing four-team playoffs, Cambodian Tiger FC stormed into third place after their 2-1 victory over National Police at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
The Tigers had done NagaWorld a great favour since the casino-backed side took the pitch against Svay Rieng FC yesterday in the comfort of having booked their place no matter what the result would be.
At the Svay Rieng stadium, NagaWorld suffered a 4-2 defeat to the home side but returned to Phnom Penh with the satisfaction of making the cut on better goal difference than the Armymen, both having logged 38 points. On Saturday the Army side defeated Western Phnom Penh 3-2.
In the double leg semi-final playoff, Boeung Ket will take on fourth placed Naga while second placed Crown will be up against Cambodian Tiger.
The victory over their arch rivals, who beat them to the title last season, took Boeung Ket’s 22-match tally to 57 points, six clear of the second placed Phnom Penh Crown, the two teams having wrestled for the lead, with both a fair way ahead of the chasing pack since the start of the season in July.
The precociously talented Chan Vathanaka led the charge with a well-merited hat-trick, with Khuon Laboravy netting the other. Shane Booysen levelled the first Boeung Ket goal for Crown and Bisan George bagged a consolation deep into injury time.
While the Boeung Ket camp will be pleased with the outcome of the first phase of the campaign, coach Prak Sovanara is determined to ride the momentum to a league triumph in the more demanding knockout phase which begins next Wednesday.
Topping the league also had a sweeter moment for Boeung Ket as the organisers of the five-nation Toyota Mekong Club Championships handed out an invitation to the club.