Post Tel sneak a 1-0 win Wednesday over relegation zone companions Phouchung Neak
Phouchung Neak's Tuy Sam (left) puts in a challenge on Post Tel’s Touch Sokheng during their Cambodian Premier League match Wednesday.AFP
CAMEROONIAN Henri Bitga's 67th-minute penalty was all Post Tel needed to record their second win of the season during the battle of the bottom two against Phouchung Neak at Olympic Stadium Wednesday.
With the teams deadlocked past the hour mark, the game looked destined for a goalless draw before referee You Vereak gave Post Tel what looked to be a controversial penalty when Phouchung goalkeeper Thay Sinath was judged to have brought down Onyeahiri Amarachi in the box as he dribbled past.
Phounchoung Neak started on a brighter note, with the knowledge that a win would lift them off the bottom for the first time since the season's start in May. Indeed, the Navy team could've opened the scoring after just three minutes when Gafar Durosinmi broke the offside trap to set up a one-on-one, but his shot trailed wide.
Phouchung continued to pile on the pressure, creating a host of chances but failing to convert any, with Yom Sarumthan the worst culprit.
The best chance of the half fell to Post Tel's Touch Sokheng, who failed to connect with a beautiful cross from Phim Pheara five minutes before the break. Moments later, Post Tel captain Khun Khoun was saved from what would have been an embarrassing own goal, when his wayward back pass to goalkeeper Ly Sokheng was scrambled away for a corner kick.
Post Tel came into the second half with more purpose, and tried to dictate the pace but still couldn't find the breakthrough. The Phouchung defence were well-marshaled by Christian Okeke and stood their ground.
The introduction of Navy team substitute Wilson Mene did offer some attcking bite, but once again they flopped in front of the sticks to sum up why they are bringing up the rear of the CPL.
Then, against the run of play, Gafar Durosinmi won the ball just inside the centre circle, squeezed himself past two Phouchung defenders and made a through pass to Amarachi Onyeahiri. The Nigerian forward's touch guided the ball round the onrushing keeper, before he fell to the ground having failed to knock the ball to the empty net.
Referee You Vereak wasted no time in awarding the penalty and booking Thay Sinath, while Navy players stood akimbo, believing the referee had blown for simulation against their player. After Onyeahiri had received medical attention, Post Tel's Henri Bitga stepped up to what would prove to be a decisive goal, hitting his shot onto the bottom of the crossbar before it crept across the line.
Despite Post Tel's confidence, Phouchung fought back and Mene could have grabbed an equalizer inside injury time, but he failed to make contact with a telling cross from You Saruth.
Post Tel recorded their second win of the season to move within seven points of escaping the dropzone; Phouchung remain rooted on two points.