Defending champions Phnom Penh Crown defeated Ministry of National Defence 3-1 in a Metfone C League tie that was purely of academic value at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
But it was Build Bright United’s surprisingly strong showing in the day’s other fixture against Preah Khan Reach in a goal-less draw that held the spectators interest.
The draw took PKR’s 17-match total to 33 points but on better goal difference they edged past National Police to second in the standings two points behind Naga, who have two games in hand. With their third draw out of 16 games, BBU reached 24 points aiming to finish as high as they can in the final standings.
Despite six games in the Double Round league yet to be completed a clear picture of the Super Four has already emerged except their order of finish, which will be known only at the end of the last game on August 19.
The four qualifying teams for Super Four competition beginning on September 4 are Naga, Preah Khan Reach, National Police and Boeng Ket.
Having seen their chances of making it to the Super Four disappear in the wake of Boeng Ket’s 5-1 thrashing of Western University on Saturday, Crown’s good showing only served to bolster their own morale in the run up to their AFC President’s Cup campaign next month in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe. Crown wrap up their current League season with a match-up against Naga next Sunday.
Hong Peng’s double firmly put them on the path to victory and Kim Borey’s third goal ensured that the Army Men were kept at a safe distance. Thong Udom reduced the margin for the 2010 Hun Sen Cup winners who are poised for a mid-table finish this season.
Boeng Ket’s victory over Western University in Saturday’s opening fixture seemed a mere formality once the side’s well known strike force got to work.
Nwakuna Friday and Yob Romaton struck a brace each for Boeng Ket with Keo Sokgnon completing the tally. The consolation for the University side came from Pang Sambo.
While Boeng Ket made sure of their Super Four berth by upping their total to 30 points the University Lads have seven points with just one game left before their impending departure from the league.
A determined Kirivong Sok Sen Chey managed to hold table topping NagaCorp 1-1 in the second game on Saturday. San Narith’s goal for Naga was neutralised by Giwa Akeem Bolaji for the visitors from Takeo. The fourth split result for Naga in 16 outings pushed their tally to 34 points.
Apart from the disappointment of a draw, Naga had a major concern about their star striker Chhun Chum’s knee injury 24 minutes into the game.
The striker left limping, heightening speculation whether he would be fit enough to take the field in the next two Naga games. Besides being the side’s top scorer, Chhun Chum is also strongly placed in the race for the top scorer of the season. He is currently trailing National Police hitman Nelson Oladiji by two goals at 16, the same number as Boeng Ket’s Nwakuna Friday.
For Kirivong, who are third from the bottom just above the red line of relegation, the one point well earned took their total to 17 points at the end of 17 games. Last year Kirivong had finished fifth but in the current season the side may have to settle for the eighth place.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at email@example.com