Shock result in the CPL as Preah Khan Reach beats Phnom Penh Crown.
BBU's Rem Bunheang (left) and Naga Corp's Sun Sovanrithy chase down the ball Saturday.
SATURDAY'S Cambodian Premier League (CPL) games entertained the crowd with a whole host of goals at Olympic Stadium. Navy-affiliated side Phouchung Neak - who were relegated last year but maintained their CPL status due to the withdrawal of promoted club Kampot FC - remained rooted to the bottom of the table with no points after Post Tel club treated them to a comfortable 3-1 defeat.
Despite going behind in the 4th minute to a Joseph Olatubosn strike, Post Tel ran out comfortable winners with a brace from Touch Sok Heng and a goal on the hour mark from Phany Chamroeun to help grab the team's first points of the season.
In Saturday's later kickoff, Samdech Hun Sen Cup finalists, Naga Corp, recorded their first win of the season in a riveting 5-3 goalfest against Build Bright United (BBU). Naga seemed to be firmly in the driving seat, with African striker Sunday Okonkwo making a delightful lob over BBU keeper Chhim Rotha to open the scoring after just three minutes. Naga's Chhim Sambo then netted goals either side of the interval to put his side up by three.
However, BBU began a spirited fightback, pulling one back through Prum Puthsethy. Naga's Tiep Vathanak maintained his side's three-goal cushion in the 73rd minute, but BBU managed to score two in the last ten minutes of the tie by Kang Sopheak and Sem Bunny to set up a suspense-filled finale. With the crowd willing on the equalizer, Naga finally stamped their authority on the match with a stoppage-time goal by substitute Friday Nwakuna.
PKR take shock win
Sunday's first match saw military police side Preah Khan Reach (PKR) inflict a stunning 2-0 defeat on the seemingly invincible Phnom Penh Crown. Missing their star Cameroonian striker Jean-Roger Lappe Lappe, Crown lacked the cutting edge they usually display and an uneventful first half saw missed chances at a premium.
The second period opened with a comedy of errors in the Crown box that, although failing to afford a goal, set the tone for the rest of the game. PKR's Khoun Laboravy should've put his team in front when he rounded the keeper, only to miraculously scoop over the bar from just yard out. However, the national team midfielder was to redeem his glaring miss with a 20-yard screamer with just 5 minutes of regulation time to go. A cross from Prak Mony Oudom drifted over defenders heads to land at the feet of Khoun Laboravy, who unleashed an unstoppable shot past Beng Bunchay that found the top corner. Then in stoppage time, PKR's Olisa Onyemerea took a pot shot from 30 yards which was mishandled by the tired-looking Crown keeper and crept over the line.
Mother Nature, clearly a Crown supporter, voiced her dismay at the result with a vicious storm, scattering advertiement boards and umbrellas and forcing the second game between National Defence Ministry and Khemara Keila to be postponed ‘til Wednesday.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)