The top perch seems to bring the best out of Phnom Penh Crown. The defending champions, who took over top spot in the Metfone C-League standings last week, consolidated their position with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Build Bright United in their tie at Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Within the first eight minutes, the University-backed side were out on a limb after conceding an own goal, Heng Sok Ly the culprit in that tragic mix-up.
It took the well-tuned Crown to get going and once they did there was nothing BBU could do to contain the efficient forward line. Sun Sopanha was bang on target in the 23rd minute as the two-goal began to weigh around BBU necks.
Soon after the resumption, San Narith fired home Crown’s third to ensure that BBU could never get on their feet again. A desperate search for some form of consolation resulted in a couple of good chances for BBU, but on the day they could never turn those promises into goals.
Both the Crown scorers picked up cautions but defender Thul Sothearith had to leave the field in the 71st minute after he picked up his second yellow booking. Even a 10 man Crown proved a tough proposition to crack for BBU, whose 8-0 thrashing of Prek Pra in their last outing, seemed such a distant memory in the light of this severe setback.
While Crown stretch their five match tally to 13 points to stay clear of the chasing pack, Hun Sen Cup runners-up BBU are stuck with four points from five matches.
Army hold out for 1-0 win
In Saturday’s early kickoff, National Defence Ministry robustly rode home an 18th minute goal by striker Phlong Chanthou to get the better of Prek Pra Keila during a game where creativity was at a premium on both sides.
Light showers in the opening stages drove the spectators to seek cover in the higher tiers of the stadium but before the impact of the drizzle could be felt on the pitch, the Army men quite literally stumbled upon a chance goal.
Phlong Chanthou got free access to the 18-yard box on the left wing, and a slow reaction to this move from Prek Pra defenders inevitably drew goalkeeper Yok Ary out. His desperate lunge towards the MND striker nearly succeeded but the ball’s thrust was good enough for it to trickle into an empty net.
Prek Pra responded with a couple of counters, Sos Souhana slamming wide from a prominent position and Mat Hassan getting the turn but not the tuck right after darting into the MND box.
The second half saw the Army mount a series of attacks but none of them had the sting to break the Prek Pra backline.
The win takes MND to 12 points from their tally of four wins and a loss. With just one point to show from five games, Prek Pra are at the wrong end of the table, alongside league debutants Rithy Sen.