After conceding an own goal as early as the 19th minute, last year’s runner-up Boeung Ket Rubber Field staged a strong second half rally to down defending champions Svay Rieng 2-1 in a Metfone C-League tie at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
As light showers which greeted Chan Vathanaka’s go-ahead goal for Boeung Ket in the 71st minute intensified into a heavy downpour towards the full time whistle, the Rubbermen had done enough to turn around that nightmarish deflection off defender Pheak Rady into their own net.
Apart from their tottering domestic form, Svay Rieng made a mirthless Singapore Cup trip to the City State last week where they were squarely beaten by Albirex Niigata in the first round.
Back to the damage control mode at home, Svay Rieng could not have bargained for a brighter beginning in the shape of that Boeung Ket gift.
Brave as Svay Rieng were in holding on to that lead till the breather, Boeung Ket’s persistence in keeping the attack going finally paid dividends in the 63rd minute. A free kick led to a corner kick which created a moment of frenzy when an unmarked Chukwuma Ohuruogu was deep enough in the box to side-foot the ball in.
That tied the scores at 1-1 and Chan Vathanaka not only showed a splendid turn of foot but he also had the presence of mind to conjure up a tidy finish.
Having been held to a goalless draw by National Police Commissary last week and endured an early jolt against Svay Rieng, the full set of points helped Boeung Ket stay within two of table topping Phnom Penh Crown, who are currently enjoying a healthy break.