If defending Metfone C-League champs Boeung Ket Angkor were looking for a morale booster ahead of today’s clash with Warriors FC in the RHB Singapore Cup, they were in for disappointment before their departure from Phnom Penh to the city-state.
At Olympic Stadium on Thursday evening, Boeung Ket were beaten 2-1 by a resurgent Phnom Penh Crown after a fracas from defender Touch Pancharong following his dismissal with a second yellow midway through the first half.
The Boeung Ket defender reacted sharply when the referee was about to flash the red card for a reckless challenge on Crown’s Brak Thiva for a second bookable offence.
In the jostling that ensued, the match official ended up on the ground. When order was restored, 10-man Boeung Ket had the steep task of arresting the Crown momentum.
The much-anticipated clash between Crown and Boeung Ket produced its share of thrills, with the six-time champions riding home on their 2-0 first-half advantage.
Fast-improving Sin Kakada powerfully headed in off a Keo Sokpheng corner in the 15th minute, and armed with the lead Crown also exploited the free-kick that resulted from Pancharong’s infraction as Sokpheng found the roof of the net after Kakada’s initial strike had triggered a scramble in the penalty area.
Boeung Ket recovered their composure when Omogba found the mark in the 36th minute and successfully fended off a couple of threatening Crown moves.
With the manpower shortfall clearly affecting Boeung Ket’s ability to plug wide gaps, Crown were presented with several prominent openings, but Sou Yaty’s resolute keeping in the Boeung Ket goal and their own inability to finish kept them where they were.
The victory took Crown to fourth in the table with 21 points as Boeung Ket dropped to fifth.
Leaders Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng could not sustain a slender one-goal lead and were held to a 2-2 draw by Cambodian Tiger at Old Stadium on Saturday as second-placed Ministry of National Defence toyed with Western Phnom Penh in a 5-1 rout built around North Korean firepower at the Olympic Stadium.
After a first half full of thrust and parry but no goals, the Tigers took the lead minutes after the break when Nigerian Timothy Okereke found the target. Within 10 minutes Chigozie Prinwill restored parity for Svay Rieng and the newly signed Bisan George gave them a 2-1 advantage just before regulation time, but Japanese import Yugo Kawabata hit a late equaliser for the Tigers.
The draw left Svay Rieng with a reduced margin at the top of the table as Army closed in with an impressive show of force.
The contest between the two has now tightened to just one point with Svay Rieng on 25 points and Army on 24.
An early breakthrough by Choe Myong-ho set the tone for the Army romp as his North Korean compatriot Kim Kyong-hun joined the goal hunt and bagged a hat-trick. Not to be outdone, Choe completed a brace as Western plucked a consolation through Michael Aboidun.