Preah Khan Reach’s Khuonla Boravy (left) challenges Prek Pra Keila’s Philip Ali during their Metfone C-League clash at Olympic Stadium yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun
Preah Khan Reach’s Chan Vathanaka (centre) celebrates after knocking in a rebound against Prek Pra Keila in the second half, to see his side take the lead at 2-1 in their match yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun
A double strike by Khuonla Boravy featured in Super Four aspirants Preah Khan Reach’s 3-1 victory over Metfone C-League backmarkers Prek Pra Keila during their encounter at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
The match revived tragic memories of their earlier fixture on May 8, when the Military Police team prevailed over a totally dispirited Prek Pra, whose Nigerian striker, Mene Wilson, died of a heart attack on the pitch.
Lost in yesterday’s scoreline was a stout-hearted performance from a youthful Prek Pra, who had levelled the score on the stroke of halftime. However, PKR fought back to blaze through Prek Pra in the second period.
“We wanted a win at all costs,” said PKR coach Rith Dikar after the game. “I was a bit worried when Prek Pra got the equaliser, but our team did well in the second half.”
Prek Pra coach Yeb Phirun admitted the first 45 minutes had gone well for his side, but said the later stages saw his defenders making too many errors. “We could not cope with the pressure,” he said.
Saviour of PKR’s previous match, substitute Ande Apollo, got the nod for the starting lineup but lashed wide when ideally placed within minutes of the start. The Nigerian frontman was pulled out on the half-hour, with his replacement, Prak Mony Udom assisting Khuonla Boravy for the opener, a header from a well-directed corner kick.
But within five minutes, the PKR defence was in tatters. Prek Pra’s Feut Soulkiphly proved a perfect stranger as he ghosted his way to the edge of the six-yard box and won the argument over goalkeeper Ouk Mich. Soulkiphly later stated that he had been “totally surprised” by the goal.
The Military Police launched a series of raids in desperation for a result. Devide Njoku crashed his stinging volley off the bar, with the rebound falling at the feet of an advancing Chan Vathanaka, who banged it in to grab the lead. Khuonla Boravy then confirmed victory with a strike in injury time, after earlier watching his extravagant bicycle kick effort tipped over by Prek Pra stopper Yok Ary.
Mat Hasan misdirected a shot from close range, in the best of Prek Pra’s chances at the other end.