Khemara Keila scored a last-minute penalty to beat Preah Khan Reach 3-2 Sunday, while Chhma Khmao lose all nine lives
Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Khemara Keila defender Ouk Chheng Hat (left) celebrates a goal with coach Solomon Demagudu during their match against Preah Khan Reach at Olympic Stadium Sunday.
GAMES between these two teams are always closely fought affairs and this was no exception to the rule, with a penalty deciding Sunday’s Metfone C-League points in Khemara’s favour in the very last minute.
The first half was all nip and tuck with defenders’ legs and goalkeeper Ouk Mich getting in the way of a series of Khemara half-chances, while Khuon Laboravy and Ande Apollo should’ve done better with the opportunities that came the way of Preah Khan Reach (PKR).
With the first half goalless, the game livened up after the interval and it took Khemara just six minutes to register the lead. Ek Vannak took advantage of some sloppy defending to fire his new team ahead.
PKR duly bounced back, and on 64 minutes Sam El Nasa set up Tum Saray for a chance he couldn’t miss from a yard out.
With a lively pace more goals soon followed. On 77 minutes, Khemara led again when Sophal Udom lashed in a knock-down from a free kick awarded when PKR’s Lay Raksmey was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Two minutes later, the referee saw a handball in a goalmouth melee and awarded PKR a penalty, which El Nasa converted.
The final drama of the afternoon was reserved for the final minute. The referee’s assistant flagged for another handball, this time by PKR’s Suon Thuon, and Ek Vannak kept his nerve, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot kick to steal the points off the military police side.
Chhma Khmao 0 PP Crown 9
Phnom Penh Crown fielded an unfamiliar line-up, shorn of many regulars against the newcomers from Svay Rieng and still won handsomely at a canter in this lopsided Metfone C-league game Sunday.
Two players netted hat tricks – Hong Ratana and Prince Justine – and besides the nine goals scored, they missed another hatful of opportunities as the Black Cats of Chhma Khmao went down to their second successive league defeat. They now know exactly how tough the C-League can be for newcomers from the provinces.
Crown led 3-0 at the interval, with the game effectively over as soon as it began. Friday Nwakuna, Hong Makara and Chan Chhaya got their names on the scoresheet but it was Prince Justine who was banging the ground in frustration after squandering some great opportunities.
Chhma Khmao held out for twenty minutes of the second period before the floodgates opened. Hong Ratana netted his three goals in quick succession, one was a stunning flying header, and Prince Justine finally found his scoring boots to collect his own hat trick, the final goal coming in injury time. It was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests and will please the Crown management team that their strength in depth came up trumps.