After weeks of frustration, marked by five draws and six defeats, the National Police at last enjoyed some success in the Metfone C-League this season, beating recent Hun Sen Cup runners-up Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng 1-0 at the Western Stadium on Saturday.
The all important goal came in the 18th minute with a well-taken finish from Ghanian Michael Osei Tutu from a nicely flighted ball into the box from defender Prak Vanny.
Despite Svay Rieng’s strong fightback, the Police stubbornly held onto that early advantage to garner, after 11 unsuccessful attempts, a first full set of points to lift them out of the relegation zone.
At the same venue on Friday, Cambodian Tiger FC defeated Asia Euro United 4-1.
But controversy greeted the high-profile clash at the RSN Stadium between Phnom Penh Crown and NagaWorld, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The eagerly awaited unveiling of their new South Korean signing Kim Hyeon-woo along with the return to the side of last season’s prolific scorer George Bisan inspired Crown to a spirited start.
The Korean debutant struck on the half-hour mark when he volleyed in a Leng Makara cross from close range to give Crown the edge, which they held on to well into the closing stages of the contest.
Though Naga pursued the second half with vigour, it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the game that the casino-backed side managed to get on level terms through a penalty that was stoutly disputed by Crown.
With two minutes of regulation time left, the referee awarded a spot-kick to Naga, pulling up Bisan George for an infringement.
Crown contended their player had played the ball as he cleared the area and was in no way responsible for the Naga player going down.
The referee waved away the vehement protests from Crown’s players, and Sun Sovannrithy successfully converted the penalty to help his side to a share of the spoils.