Boeung Ket Angkor pulled off a sensational 2-1 win over Commissary of National Police in the final game of the 2016 Metfone C-League season at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening to ensure domestic supremacy for the second time in four years following their maiden triumph in 2012.
Boeung Ket coach Prak Sovanara’s men faced a stern test in the deciding match against the Police side after the chasing Ministry of National Defence had kept the pressure on the leaders with a 4-1 win over Asia Europe United the previous day.
Police showed real intent to spoil the Boeung Ket party, but the Rubbermen refused to buckle under the pressure, nullifying a number of dangerous Army chances.
The hard-working Dzarma Bata kept plugging away and Khun Laboravy showed his old magic as Boeung Ket appeared sharp – but not quite sharp enough to force a breakthrough as the sides went into the half-time break goalless.
Boeung Ket broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute when a corner found Bata to head home in. Boeung Ket went two up when Sovann struck in the 71st minute.
But it may have been a case of the champagne corks popping a bit too soon as Police found their way back to the game in the 85th minute through Shane Petersen, but it ultimately proved too little too late to stop the Boeung Ket celebrations.
“I owe this victory to our excellent teamwork. Each and every member of the team has contributed to this success. Also, we could not have done without the support of our management and the fans,” coach Sovanara said.
The team had an additional success to celebrate as well. Chan Vathanaka became the first player in league history to retain the Golden Boot for top goalscorer, having hit the net 22 times. He was also voted player of the season. He received 1.5 million riel ($7,500) for each award.
Although missing out on the title by just one point, the Army’s second place was the highest ever finishing position for the team, and they took away 46 million riel to help ease their disappointment.
As a testimony to the team’s remarkable showing this season, manager Tep Long Rachana was voted best coach, while Um Sereyroth was named best goalkeeper. Each got 1.5 million riel.
Boeung Ket amassed 45 points to take the title and received 60 million riel.
NagaWorld, a distant third on 34 points, received 36 million riel, while Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng took fourth spot and 30 million riel, the first time the Cambodian football federation has rewarded a fourth place finish.