Contrary to pre-match build up as a no-holds-barred contest, a needle game in the Metfone C-League between former champions Phnom Penh Crown and Naga Corp fizzled out into a goalless affair at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
The stalemate held the sides to their current league standings, with Crown sitting third behind Boeung Ket Rubber Field and Svay Rieng, and Naga retaining their fourth spot.
Intermittent showers during the second half only drove the spectators to the top tiers in the stands while doing no favours at all to the men on the pitch.
The game could have been Naga’s had not the right post come in the way of a firm strike by midfielder Ou Lyhorng from the top of the box at the stroke of regulation time.
Minutes before this Naga miss, Crown had come closest to scoring when Odion Obadin’s header from a corner kick went harmlessly wide of the mark.
There were some lively exchanges at both ends but neither side posed any serious threat, with much of the battle confined to midfield.
Crown clearly felt the absence of their top scorer Elroy van der Hooft, who was not in the line-up. South Korean signing Lee Ha-neul did inject some pace and purpose now and then but, overall, Crown could not break in the way they had done in their two previous outings.
Neither side could get deep enough to cause a stir in the box thanks to both sets of defenders stoically holding their ground.
Senate make another point in tie
In yesterday’s late kick-off, Ministry of National Defence failed to clinch the victory that would have guaranteed them top-tier survival, allowing Senate Secretariat to record just their second point from the whole season with a 1-1 draw.
The Army men took the lead on a rain-soacked Olympic Stadium pitch a minute before the break through Phuong Soksana. However, Senate hit back shortly after the restart with an important equaliser by Chhim Seyha.
Senate, already confirmed to finish at the bottom of the league, helped prolong the seemingly inevitable demise of fellow newcomers Asia Europe
University, who now need MND to lose all three of their remaining fixtures while winning their own last two.