In a sensational penalty shootout Ministry of National Defence ousted two-time champions NagaWorld 5-3 in the first Metfone C-League championship playoff at Olympic Stadium last night.
The contest, between the third- and fourth-placed teams after the double-round league phase, ended goalless after two spells of 15 minutes of extra-time failed to break the deadlock leading to the nerve-wracking penalties.
Dani Kouch’s miss at the start of Naga’s quota was a devastating blow from which the casino-backed side could not recover.
As Army hit home one spot-kick after another, a visibly nervous Naga kept in touch until forward Suong Virak missed to hand victory to Army, whose Cup final victory in 2016 was also achieved after the intense drama of a penalty shootout.
Having struggled their way to make it to to the four-team playoffs, Army are now just two matches away from winning their first ever league championship.
The two-time league runners-up will now meet Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng in the next playoff on Saturday to earn the right to challenge league phase winners Boeung Ket for the 2017 title.