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Khemara kick down Wat Phnom

Khemara Keila’s Suon Makara smashes an attempt at goal past Wat Phnom’s Khieu Vibol (right) and Tan Rachana Oudam (second right) during their Metfone C-League match yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Sreng Meng Srun

Khemara Keila’s Chhun Kirivatharo celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring against Wat Phnom yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun
Khemara Keila’s Suon Makara and Wat Phnom’s Henry Asonibe (right) jump for a header yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun

Khemara Keila dumped Wat Phnom deeper into the drop zone dogfight with a 2-0 victory in their Metfone C-League match at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.

Khemara made an ominously impressive start with a fourth minute goal by Chun Kirivatharo, a sweet timed volley off an accurate pass from Nwafor Tobe. An own goal by Wat Phnom’s Khieu Vibol in the 21st minute more-or-less sealed their fate.

Ek Vanak saw his touch ricochet off the Wat Phnom defender from a destructive cross by Suon Makara, with the defence slow to respond.

The Wat Phnom goal lived a charmed life in the second session, enduring several close shaves as the Khemara marksmen took a series of pot shots. While Khemara keeper Lok Sok Heng had a relatively easy day, pressed into service on just a couple of non-demanding occasions, his counter part Sin Pisal was suffered considerable harassment.

A thunderstorm accompanied by forceful winds and bolts of lightning wreaked havoc near the end of the game, overturning dugouts and sending advertising hoardings around the pitch flying. The 15-minute fury of the elements could hardly ruin Khemara’s finest hour in recent weeks, having seen solid performances against Naga Corp and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey fail to yield any points. Yesterday, however, Khemara got down to play with a sense of a purpose that has been their missing link.

A totally dominant performance in the first half saw the side dictate the pace and work freely into the Wat Phnom territory. Goal number three appeared to come when Suon Makara prized open the defence, but the forward was flagged offside amid protests from the bench and the fans.

With Khemara again gifted unfettered access in the second session, every deep incursion by their forward line threatened a goal, but if Khemara’s strike power had matched their splendid approach work there should have been a few more to their credit.

There were hardly any breakaways of real merit on Wat Phnom’s part and substitutions brought them no cheer either.

Khemara’s sixth win comes on the top of their nine losses, and though there is not much at stake this season, every good performance is being counted as a positive for the future, as coach Solomon Demagudu pointed out recently. For Wat Phnom the defeat brings about the disturbing dimension of a possible three-way battle for survival with Prek Pra Keila and Chhma Khmao.



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