The Army team well and truly sank the Navy team 5-1 in their Metfone C-League clash yesterday at a rain-swept Olympic Stadium.
National Defence Ministry (MND) climbed up to the luc-rative third place in the overall standings with the win, while Chhlam Samuth continued to float just two points above the drop zone.
The newly promoted Sea Sharks had begun promisingly with a 15th-minute opener by Ayodele Silva after he was put through by a delicate dink over the defence line from midfielder Thin Sok.
When the skies opened a few moments later, fans in the covered main stand joked that the Navy team would be likely to handle the wet conditions better.
But the reverse proved to be true, with MND pulling things level on 27 minutes through Phoung Soksana. The striker was set up by Chhin Chhoeun as two Chhlam Samuth defenders lay injured on the pitch.
Sea Sharks coach Jimmy Campbell pulled off both backs, and their replacements struggled to stem the tide of Army attacks.
With the scores still tied over the interval and the rain subsiding in the second sess-ion, defensive errors began to plague Chhlam Samuth.
Defender Chhim Bunsam conceded a free kick on 69 minutes and MND’s Pheak Rady floated in a telling cross for Chhin Chhoeun to leap high and head home.
Chhoeun’s head was again used to full effect just three minutes later as he dived to nod in a pass from Soksana during a direct move that had cut straight through the Sea Sharks.
Soksana turned provider once more, this time for Meak Chhordaravuth as the midfielder unleashed a fierce shot from outside the box that bettered the reach of goalkeeper Pech Rovin Yothin.
In the second minute of inj-ury time, the Army rubbed salt in the Sharks’ wounds with a smart finish by Khek Khemarin off an assist from captain Oum Kumpheak. Chhlam Samuth’s star forward Sanny Dauda had a day to forget, with numerous chances thwarted by courageous blocks by MND’s newly recruited defender Loth Sophan.